Ofcom Decision: A Humiliating Defeat for Bob Ward and the Myles Allen 37

Ofcom, the U.K. television regulator, has rendered a remarkable decision. People interested in what was actually decided will, unfortunately, have to consult the original judgment at Ofcom, rather than the BBC accounts (here, here) of the judgment.

BBC stated:

The Great Global Warming Swindle, a controversial Channel 4 film, broke Ofcom rules, the media regulator says. In a long-awaited judgement, Ofcom says Channel 4 did not fulfil obligations to be impartial and to reflect a range of views on controversial issues. The film also treated interviewees unfairly, but did not mislead audiences “so as to cause harm or offence”. Plaintiffs say the Ofcom judgement is “inconsistent” and “lets Channel 4 off the hook on a technicality.”

Ofcom rendered 4 decisions in relation to the program itself (page 6) and about alleged unfairness to David King (page 36), IPCC (page 43) and Carl Wunsch (page 70) separately. Today I’ll post on the program decision and will discuss the 3 ancillary decisions tomorrow.

As I’ve previously mentioned on the blog, I had no involvement in the making or editing of the production. I chatted briefly with a production assistant in Sweden at the KTH conference in Sept 2006 on a pleasant fall day and agreed to an interview when they visited North America, but the interview was cancelled and I had no further contact with them prior to the show being aired. It turned out that I was mentioned in the credits, but nonetheless, as stated above, I had no involvement in anything to do with the preparation of the program.

When controversy arose about one of their temperature graphics in early 2007, I examined the graphic (reported on at CA here on March 17), identifying the exact error (as opposed to more fanciful explanations). I contacted the producers of the show urging them to fix the error, which they undertook to do. Last fall, they contacted me for assistance in responding to the various complaints, which I provided. One of the complaints was that Swindle had failed to use Michael Mann’s Hockey Stick, a matter on which I felt that the complaint was singularly unjustified and on which I was well qualified to provide technical information. Had the other side asked my opinion on their account of the Stick prior to submitting the complaint, I would have provided it and urged them to avoid this particular issue.

The Program
Ofcom stated that it had received 265 complaints about the Program, the bulk of them alleging misrepresentations (in breach of section 2.2) or a failure of due impartiality (section 5).

Misrepresentations
Among the complainants claiming misrepresentations were Bob Ward and the 37 professors (Myles Allen, Phil Jones et al) who alleged a wide variety of error here and David Rado of the 175-page complaint profiled by BBC here. Ofcom did not uphold any of the misrepresentation complaints against Swindle. Not one. [Update: Three paragraphs down, I state the symmetric point that neither does Ofcom “vindicate” Swindle, which some people ignore. My point here is that Ofcom totally refused to give the complainants the relief that they sought.]

Ofcom summarized their judgement as follows:

In summary, in relation to the manner in which facts in the programme were presented, Ofcom is of the view that the audience of this programme was not materially misled in a manner that would have led to actual or potential harm. The audience would have been in no doubt that the programme’s focus was on scientific and other arguments which challenged the orthodox theory of man-made global warming. Regardless of whether viewers were in fact persuaded by the arguments contained in the programme, Ofcom does not believe that they could have been materially misled as to the existence and substance of these alternative theories and opinions, or misled as to the weight which is given to these opinions in the scientific
community.

Ofcom considers that, although the programme may have caused viewers to challenge the consensus view that human activity is the main cause of global warming, there is no evidence that the programme in itself did, or would, cause appreciable potential harm to members of the public …

Channel 4, however, had the right to show this programme provided it remained within the Code and – despite certain reservations – Ofcom has determined that it did not breach Rule 2.2. On balance it did not materially mislead the audience so as to cause harm or offence.

Not in breach of Rule 2.2.

That’s not to say that Ofcom said that Durkin’s point of view had been vindicated, merely that the complainants were seeking comfort in the wrong bed. Even though complainant Rado said that his complaint had been “peer reviewed” by William Connolley, Ofcom resisted the temptation to opine on scientific truth; instead they did the job assigned to them legislation – to determine whether there had been a violation of Rule 2.2, a possibility that none of the complainants seemed to have considered and for which their preparations were abysmal.

In addition to the general finding, Ofcom selected four major alleged misrepresentations (from the dozens of incoherently presented issues in Rado’s 175 page “peer reviewed” complaint) for individual consideration. Here’s a bit of advice from me to the complainants – you’d have been better off to pick your 4 best issues and stick to them, no matter how interesting the other ones seemed; write a blog on the other ones if you want, but the risk of presenting too many issues to a tribunal is that they’ll end up picking 4 issues to consider anyway and, by throwing too many spitballs against the wall, you end up being stuck with the choices that they make. Were I crafting the complaint, I would not have picked the 4 issues that Ofcom focused on as my priority issues. But the complainants failed to prioritize and got stuck with the issues that Ofcom selected.

The first specific issue related to the use of graphics. And indeed, Swindle contained an error in the temperature graphic in the first program, which was said to have been inadvertently introduced in the production of the graphic. Unlike (say) Inconvenient Truth, where errors have remained uncorrected even when one of their Scientific Advisers supposedly brought the error to the attention of the Inconvenient Truth producers, in this case, the producers promptly replaced the graphic, with changes being made even before the second showing. In the hearing, the GGWS producers candidly acknowledged the error and reported the correction. This undoubtedly helped them with the complaint; Ofcom noted the error but found that this error was “not of such significance as to have been materially misleading so as to cause harm and offence in breach of Rule 2.2″.

The second specific allegation considered was the alleged “‘distortion’ of the science of climate modelling.” Ofcom drolly noted:

Ofcom noted that, although the complainants disagreed with the points made by the contributors in the programme, they did not suggest that the overall statements about climate models were factually inaccurate.

Ouch. Ofcom went on to say (again finding for the defendant):

Ofcom notes that the creation of such models necessarily involved assumptions. The disagreement among scientists about the nature of those assumptions (as described by the contributors to the programme) is not an issue on which Ofcom can adjudicate. Overall however Ofcom’s view was that the passages complained of were not materially misleading so as to cause harm and offence.

Next they considered the claim “that the theory of anthropogenic global warming is promoted by environmentalists as a means to reverse economic growth”. I would have advised the complainants to have just dropped this sort of piffle as a complaint. Ofcom made short shrift of this complaint:

This sequence of the programme consisted of a brief historical examination of the environmental movement in the late 1980s before it had become mainstream. These were clearly views of a small set of people who took a particular position on the political motives of these campaigners. In line with the right to freedom of expression, Ofcom considers that the broadcaster has the right to transmit such views and the audience would understand the context in which such comments were made. The content was therefore not misleading.

The last specific complaint considered were allegations that the program inflated the credibility of its contributors and that they had failed to disclose nefarious links between the contributors and the fossil fuel industry, links which were denied. Ofcom refused to get involved in judging a beauty contest as to whose experts were the more expert or to grasp the nettle of sorting out the validity of internet tattle on supposed links of Lindzen, Singer etc to the fossil fuel industry. They decided the matter on alternate grounds, finding that the amount of contributor background that was reported was an editorial decision:

The credibility of contributors to the programme The right to freedom of expression and the principle of editorial freedom are crucial to broadcasters. The programme used contributors who offered controversial opinions on the issues raised. The decisions by the programme makers not to include all the qualifications of contributors, and not to include more background on them (some of which is strongly disputed), were editorial decisions which overall did not in Ofcom’s view result in the audience being materially misled. … in Ofcom’s view these alleged and strongly disputed links did not need to be disclosed to viewers to avoid the programme being misleading

Alleged Omissions
The Complainants also alleged that Ofcom had misled viewers by “omission of views and facts in a way that materially misled so as to be harmful or offensive”. Here Ofcom observed that the program hardly concealed the existence of a mainstream view – indeed, the program referred repeatedly to the mainstream view, which it criticized, but the audience was clearly apprised that another view was the mainstream view. Ofcom also noted that the mainstream view was well-publicized elsewhere. OFcom:

Ofcom considers there is a difference between presenting an opinion which attacks an established, mainstream and well understood view, such as in this programme, and criticising a view which is much more widely disputed and contentious. In the former case, programme makers are not always required to ensure the detailed reflection of the mainstream view (since it will already be known and generally accepted by the majority of viewers). In the context of this particular programme, given the number of scientific theories and politico-economic arguments dealt with in The Great Global Warming Swindle, it was not materially misleading overall to have omitted certain opposing views or represented them only in commentary. The use by the programme makers of commentary, interviews and archive footage in an attempt to demonstrate the mainstream view on balance, in Ofcom’s opinion, fulfilled this requirement.

In summary, Ofcom considered most viewers would have been aware that the views expressed in the programme went against the scientific consensus about the causes of global warming and were only espoused by a small minority – not least because of the overwhelming amount of material broadcast in recent years based on the consensus view that human production of carbon dioxide is a major cause of global warming.


Due Impartiality

None of the complaints alleging lack of due impartiality in the science portion (sections 1-4) was upheld. Not one. The only bone thrown to the complainants was a finding that there had not been due impartiality in the portion talking about Africa – an issue that Bob Ward and the Myles Allen 37 didn’t even mention. Ofcom’s reasoning here had a fine touch of irony, which will appeal to connoisseurs of irony, as I hope most CA readers are.

In order for section 5 due impartiality requirements to come into play, the issue had to be one “of political or industrial controversy”. The Code explains that these are “political or industrial issues on which politicians, industry and/or the media are in debate.” But if the science was “settled”, as the complainants elsewhere argued, then the matter necessarily ceased to be one of “political or industrial controversy”, leaving section 5 inapplicable. As confirmation, Channel 4 introduced statements from the Stern Commission and the former Environment Minister that the science was “settled” and thus the science matters discussed in sections 1-4 were no longer matters of “political or industrial controversy.”

Rather a bold gambit and one that left the Complainants on the horns of a dilemma. In order to sustain their section 5 complaint, they would have had to reverse the position argued elsewhere in the complaint and argue that the science was not “settled”, hardly something that they wanted to do and a position that they did not adopt.

In their decision, Ofcom noted the views of the Stern Commission and the former Environment Minister that the science was no longer a matter of “political or industrial controversy” and threw out the section 5 complaints in relation to the science sections. Didn’t I tell you that the irony would appeal to CA readers? [Update: Most blogosphere commentators have failed to catch Ofcom’s logic, which is subtle. James Annan sort of grasps it saying “It sort of has a valid internal logic in a smugly complacent middle-class sort of way, but leaves me wondering what OFCOM is actually for.” If Annan is interested in the latter question, he would do well to peruse the Ofcom decision bulletins, which indicate a busy schedule, but one which makes them an inappropriate arbitrator of a scientific dispute, no matter how obvious it seems to the proponents – which is doubtless why they chose not to act as arbiters of scientific matters. ]

The only bone that Ofcom threw the program complainants was a mercy bone in relation to the Africa segment, which was hardly a matter of big controversy, having attracted no ire from Bob Ward and the 37 professors. Ofcom concluded that the Africa segment did involve a matter of policy and that the GGWS producers had an obligation to have been more impartial on this topic.

Summary on the Program Complaint
In relation to the program complaint, it’s hard to imagine a more thorough stuffing of the complainants. They were lucky they didn’t have to pay costs.

Tomorrow I’ll comment on the 3 decisions involving individual complaints by David King, the IPCC and Carl Wunsch, each involving fairly particular matters. In each case, Ofcom rejected important items of complaint, with about the only bone thrown the complainants’ way being findings that GGWS did not give the complainants’ enough notice. I was hoping to get to this tonight, because the David King complaint in particular is really the stuff of comedy, which Ofcom handled with a suitably droll delivery worthy of Stephen Colbert.

A complete stuffing of the 37 professors.

163 Comments

  1. Pompous Git
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 12:06 AM | Permalink

    Under the head Alleged Omissions:

    The Complainants also alleged that Ofcom had misled viewers by “omission of views and facts in a way that materially misled so as to be harmful or offensive”.

    I think you mean that Durkin rather than Ofcom “had misled viewers”

    A nice review, Steve. It is an interesting document, indeed.

  2. joy
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 1:22 AM | Permalink

    I am impressed that you were so quick off the mark with this. I read the entire OFCOM statement but was underwhelmed. I noticed theBBC’s over blown reporting and have made my complaint already to OFCOM regarding their misleading headline. I noticed it was the same reporter who was involved some months backin the changing BBC headlines nonsense.

  3. TinyCO2
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 1:48 AM | Permalink

    I’m glad you came to the same conclusion I did that Channel 4 was mostly vindicated in the ruling. The BBC reporting is pure sour grapes.

    The Inconvenient Truth is yet to air on terrestrial tv here in the UK. I wonder if it would fare as well as Mr Durkin’s documentary should it’s accuracy be considered with similar scrutiny by Offcom?

    Are there parts of the film that mislead audiences “so as to cause harm or offence”?

    I think there are a ‘few’ factual mistakes that have never been corrected and telling people that using fossil fuels will destroy the planet might upset quite a few people.

    Mmm, worth a thought. How good a complaint could be compiled even before it airs?

  4. py
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 2:04 AM | Permalink

    Now I don’t normally congratulate Ofcom, but hats off to them, they’ve certainly approached this one with more than a wry grin it would seem.

    It is also worth noting the position of both Roger Harrabin and Richard Black (both environmental correspondents for the BBC) when consuming their output. See this blog entry.

    In particular

    Given the weight of opinion building up around the IPCC it makes sense for us to focus our coverage on the consensus that climate change is happening, is serious, but is manageable if tackled urgently.

    I can understand politicians taking the IPCC reports at face value, but is it me, or does that stance by journalists smack of laziness?

    Whatever your view on AGW, I think Channel4 should be congratulated for at least having the spine to air Durkin’s documentary and give the contrary point of view an air.

  5. Perry
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 2:17 AM | Permalink

    Let us hope that Durkin will now have the opportunity to release an updated documentary, that includes all the recent evidence to support global cooling. No sunspots, a cooling PDO, wrongly positioned weather instruments and Hansen’s manipulations of past measurements. He would not want to stick his head up above the parapet to defend his actions there, I’ll warrant. I am sure there are many other matters that could be included as well.

  6. Mike C
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 2:52 AM | Permalink

    I also read the whole document. My first thought was, wow, I’m glad we booted that king. What a ridiculous law and a first rate waste of tax payers dollars. As if the public did not have the ability to realize how much snow they shoveled this year.

    As for the report, I’m shocked that 4 days was not enough for the IPCC to respond to a media request or at least to ask for more time, especially since they were sent the questions in advance. But my most absurd thoughts go to Carl Wunsch who claimed his view of the science was misrepresented… ummm… yeah Carl, there you are…ON VIDEO!!! Anyways, I’m glad they kicked that part of his claim to the curb.

  7. Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 3:14 AM | Permalink

    The register has good coverage

  8. Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 3:17 AM | Permalink

    SO the BBC report was wholly or mostly misleading and biased. Now who do we complain to about the BBC’s ridiculous bias when reporting on environmental issues?

    Oh and the BBC couldn’t find any other graphic to use when discussing past climate than the blasted Hockey Stick.

    It’s clearly a fetish with these people.

  9. Dodgy Geezer
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 3:20 AM | Permalink

    “..I noticed the BBC’s over blown reporting and have made my complaint already to OFCOM regarding their misleading headline..”
    Joy

    Glad to hear it. I have made mine to the BBC complaints dept – a copy is below. You may enjoy their response to an earlier complaint, which is included in the piece…
    ……..
    Sir,

    You have reported the results of the Ofcom investigation into the Channel 4 ‘Great Warming Swindle’ program in a manner which is misleading.

    Specifically, your headline claims that the film ‘broke rules’, and I read the piece expecting to see that the complaints about this piece had been justified.

    To my surprise, your story seems to say the exact opposite. You say that the main body of the C4 film ‘did not break any rules’, there is to be no sanction, and apart from issues of minor misquotations and ‘allowing time to respond’, the film did not mislead viewers and its broadcast was therefore justified.

    I have had occasion recently to complain about an obvious BBC bias in favour of the Global Warming hypothesis in your item on the Perito Moreno glacier. On that occasion you assured me that:

    “We appreciate the importance of presenting information fairly and your email underlines the fact that many licence fee payers suspect the BBC of having an agenda. I can assure you that is not the case..”

    How do you then justify writing an item which indicates that the Channel 4 broadcast was vindicated – to the extent of reporting the disappointment of the complainers, while headlining it as if it had been found guilty? The headline is meant to provide a general overview of the news item. Picking a minor point on which Ofcom had found against Channel 4 and treating that as the overview is NOT presenting information fairly. I cannot take the assurance you provided earlier to mean anything if, a week or so later, you simply repeat the bias!

  10. trevor
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 3:41 AM | Permalink

    Re #9: Onya Dodgy Geezer (an appreciative Ozzie salute).

  11. Dodgy Geezer
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 3:44 AM | Permalink

    Incidentally, Joy, how do you complain to Ofcom about bias on a BBC website? As far as I can see, Ofcom only covers broadcast TV programs, not associated websites, and there is no Ofcom section for these.

    I think it would be a good idea to complain about this obvious bias, and tie the complaint into the willingness to pay the licensing fee. You may note that some hints are being given that the BBC may have some of its money diverted to Channel 4 – this refers: http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/entertainment/Ofcom-chief-hints-BBC-could.4306228.jp

  12. Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 3:52 AM | Permalink

    PS I also commented at my blog

  13. David Holland
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 4:02 AM | Permalink

    Last night on BBC Newsnight we had a pathetic looking Sir David King bleating on yet again about science going back to the 1820s and

    we have recently seen several thousand of the worlds top scientists working very hard on a problem because it has such a big potential impacts for humanity

    You would never have guessed that looking at the Review Editors’ reports on Chapter 6. Speaking of which does anyone know who at the IPCC wrote their complaint? If Ofcom cut and pasted it correctly the IPCC said, discussing the expert review process,

    If the lead author then wishes to make the change, he/she has to account for the decision to his/her review editor, who will make the final decision.

    Really? That’s not what it says on the IPCC website.

    How anyone in the UK supporting the orthodox view of climate change can complain about balance and accuracy in the media coverage escapes me.

    Lets hope Durkin continues to focus on the really big deception, that we are continually asked to look at and be very scared of a mountain of emotional, virtual reality “what if” science which is hiding from us a tiny molehill of real but still controversial science dominated by small self reinforcing cliques – to paraphrase Dr Wegman.

    More sunshine please!

  14. Henrik
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 4:11 AM | Permalink

    As a long time lurker I just want to pay my respects to Mr. Mcintyre and his excellent work and to all the dedicated and intelligent people on this blog. If it weren´t for you, so many things would still linger unchallenged.
    Very funny review by the way – In Denmark we are in the exact same position as the UK – state controlled media with a clear agenda and a bunch of lazy and biased journalists.
    But soon we are going to pump up oil from the underground of Greenland – can´t wait to see how the government is going to explain that.
    You all make my day – thanks.

  15. beaker
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 4:22 AM | Permalink

    There is a good reason why OFCOM did not find against TGGWS on matters of scientific accuracy, becuase (as it says in their findings) it is neither within their remit, nor their ability to do so. If TGGWS had been presented as a serious documentary containing a balanced analysis of the issue, instead of “authored polemic”, they would have come in for greater criticism. OFCOM can only act if the programme misrepresents the facts to a degree likely to cause harm or offense, which is almost impossible to establish, given the overtly polemic nature of the programme. This in no way refutes the claims made by Ward et al. I’m sorry to have to say this, but IMHO this blog entry demonstrates at least as great a bias in reporting of the OFCOM ruling as the BBC article.

    Steve: Beaker, you’re being very unfair to my account by implying that I had failed to observe that their findings said that determination of scientific accuracy was “neither within their remit, nor their ability to do so.” I said precisely that:

    That’s not to say that Ofcom said that Durkin’s point of view had been vindicated, merely that the complainants were seeking comfort in the wrong bed.

  16. Bob Ward
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 4:36 AM | Permalink

    I congratulate you on being entirely predictable in your reaction to the Ofcom ruling, and I’m glad you haven’t tried to hide your own involvement in the programme, which was acknowledged in the closing credits. But I really do encourage you to actually read the ruling and absorb its contents. Contrary to the impression you have tried to create, Ofcom did find that the programme contained inaccuracies, but considered that these did not materially mislead viewers so as to cause harm or offence. You will see from the ruling that Channel 4 has admitted at least some of the inaccuracies. The reasoning behind this ruling seems to be that the evidence for greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change was already so clear at the time the programme was broadcast that nobody will have taken any serious notice of the content of the programme. This is curious reasoning, and I will be appealing against this part of the ruling on the grounds that there is evidence of harm – unfortunately quite a few people have been confused by the programme, which is evidence of harm I think. But keep up the good work!

    Steve: Bob, you seem to be more than a bit fact-challenged. I said in the post: “I had no involvement in the making or editing of the production”. Let me re-iterate that so you don’t spread false rumors. Regardless of whether there are any other inaccuracies in the program, listing me in the credits is an inaccuracy.

  17. fFreddy
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 4:44 AM | Permalink

    Re #16, Bob Ward
    Ever since you started appearing all over UK news as “Bob Ward, Royal Society”, I have been wondering about your academic background.
    Would I be correct in assuming that you are another media studies graduate ? If not, then what ?

  18. SOM
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 4:47 AM | Permalink

    I notice in your second reference to the BBC website

    about a reluctant whistle blower, they seem to be illustrating the story with a hockey stick shaped graph. Is this also a nice example of irony? Or is it the wrong type of hockey stick?

  19. py
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 4:55 AM | Permalink

    @beaker (15)

    Isn’t the Ofcom ruling just brilliant? You have to admire the way it has been cunningly crafted.

    There is a subtle difference between this blog and the BBC though. I’m pretty sure this blog doesn’t have a Charter that I believe is laid down in law (and mentions impartiality) and presumably isn’t funded through a non voluntary tax system. Not sure the ‘what’s good for the goose argument’ can be made here.

    I shall now go back to lurking.

  20. Pete
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 5:00 AM | Permalink

    #16 (Bob)

    Bob, with all due respect, but the comment you made regarding TGGWS set back public opinion by 10 years is just nonsense. Public opinion has been set back 10 years because that is the last time we saw any measurable global warming. Surely the tactic of trying to dump this one TV programme now 18 months old is just ridiculous.

    If a similar programme were made today, then I would suggest to you that the recent weight of evidence is even more in-line with the views of the TGGWS.

    Bob, when Channel 4 Transmit Al Gores movie, I would expect to see the standard disclaimer regarding some elements, as ruled by the High Court, to be issued by Channel 4 before the programe airs? Would you agree?

  21. MarkW
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 5:05 AM | Permalink

    Given the thorough thrashing the Hockey Stick has gotten, wouldn’t use of it, especially without mentioning any of the controversy surrounding it, be prima facia evidence of a willingness to mislead?

  22. py
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 5:08 AM | Permalink

    Presumably Bob Ward will be warming up his pen in the interests of intellectual honesty should ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ ever be broadcast on UK terrestrial television unchanged from its present form.

    Now I really shall go back to lurking.

  23. beaker
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 5:12 AM | Permalink

    PY (20) The BBC article as originally written was a fair and balanced summary of the finding, it has become a little more anti-sceptic since then (e.g. the caption of the first picture – although there is metit in what it says as far as I can see). The report accurately describes what was upheld and what wasn’t and is reporting the response from the parties invovled, as most of them are from the AGW camp, the shift in balance now the responses are coming in seems inevitable. I can’t really see how else they could report it. To restore balance, the sceptics involved should contact the BBC and give them some quotes, Steve?

  24. nevket240
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 5:17 AM | Permalink

    Bob Ward, whatever that is. What is it you cannot understand about honesty & plain English?? If only a former VP of the USA was as direct & honest.

    ((As I’ve previously mentioned on hte blog, I had no involvement in the making or editing of the production. I chatted briefly with a production assistant in Sweden at the KTH conference in Sept 2006 on a pleasant fall day and agreed to an interview when they visited North America, but the interview was cancelled and I had no further contact with them prior to the show being aired. It turned out that I was mentioned in the credits, but nonetheless, as stated above, I had no involvement in anything to do with the preparation of the program.))

    regards.

  25. py
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 5:26 AM | Permalink

    beaker(24)

    Should they? For a balanced article shouldn’t that be the responsibility of Richard Black in the first place? I wonder if they tried to contact Durkin himself for comment?

    Please remember the charter from which the BBC are supposed to operate.

  26. Pete
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 5:40 AM | Permalink

    #16 (Bob) “Unfortunately, the programme has caused confusion among many people who watched it, which is evidence of harm, so I will be appealing against this part of the ruling.”

    Bob – as part of your appeal, you could try dropping the idea that “the science is settled” and then get OFCOM to re-consider Section 5. ;-)

    Just a thought. I’m trying to be constructive…….

  27. Scott-in-WA
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 5:50 AM | Permalink

    Bob Ward: I congratulate you on being entirely predictable in your reaction to the Ofcom ruling, and I’m glad you haven’t tried to hide your own involvement in the programme, which was acknowledged in the closing credits.

    There is an unstated assumption here that Mr. McIntyre is somehow unqualified to be a participant in the climate warming debate. Or is it possible that Mr. Ward believes there should be no debate, because the science is settled?

    Bob Ward: But I really do encourage you to actually read the ruling and absorb its contents. Contrary to the impression you have tried to create, Ofcom did find that the programme contained inaccuracies, but considered that these did not materially mislead viewers so as to cause harm or offence. You will see from the ruling that Channel 4 has admitted at least some of the inaccuracies.

    Mr. Ward, may I ask you to enumerate these inaccuracies in detail, explain to us in detail why they are inaccuracies, and then explain how these inaccuracies materially mislead the viewing public.

    Bob Ward: The reasoning behind this ruling seems to be that the evidence for greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change was already so clear at the time the programme was broadcast that nobody will have taken any serious notice of the content of the programme.

    Really? Their reasoning seems to be straightforward, on the face of it, and does not explicitly take that kind of position. Are you perhaps reading more into the decision than is actually there? (Or perhaps using your own style of polemic in an attempt to shape the public’s perceptions of Ofcom’s decision?)

    Bob Ward: This is curious reasoning, and I will be appealing against this part of the ruling on the grounds that there is evidence of harm – unfortunately quite a few people have been confused by the programme, which is evidence of harm I think.

    Again, Ofcom’s reasoning seems to be straightforward on the face of it. It appears you assume the science is settled, that all science issues which matter to the debate have been successfully dealt with by AGW proponents, and so further discourse on the subject which causes the general public (and other neutral scientists) to question the validity of AGW’s central conclusions represents “harm”.

    Mr Ward, I ask you this question: Isn’t this kind of arrogant attitude on the part the AGW advocacy community not only anti- free speech in its true nature, but also anti-science in its ultimate impact on the debate of major political issues which involve important scientific questions?

    Bob Ward: But keep up the good work!

    The impacts of carbon capping policies have yet to be felt in any serious way by the general public. When such impacts begin to be felt in a serious way by the general public, then the practice you get here at CA in debating the skeptics will stand you in very good stead –- assuming you begin taking the substance of the debate seriously as opposed to engaging in your own style of polemic.

  28. mike T
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 6:00 AM | Permalink

    Good on you, Joy Dodgy Geezer. Having also read the Ofcom report in full, I’ve just made my own complaint to the BBC, but mine related to their outrageous report on the Ten O’Clock News and not much better double interview on Newsnight. For what it’s worth here’s what I said:

    I wish to complain about the Ten O’Clock News item on the Ofcom report on Channel 4’s “The Great Global Warming Swindle”.
    I have read the Ofcom report. The main part and greatest thrust of the report is over the facts included in the programme and finds that it did not materially mislead the public. The BBC report headlined a few errors (immediately corrected for repeat broadcasts) and the finding that the programme did not include enough alternate views without pointing out that this referred only to the fifth section of the programme dealing with political issues. The BBC report did include the not misleading point, as a one sentence remark. It was, of course, repeated by the Channel 4 representative as being the main finding, as, I think, anyone reading the report would find. (para)The BBC reporter said that Channel 4 were probably feeling very relieved, because Ofcom’s report could have been much worse. This suggests that Channel 4 got off lightly. What possible grounds does have for that? Is it just because of the views expressed in the programme? (para) The programme then had the temerity to to interview the government’s chief scientist (?) David King, who was allowed to reinforce the global warming catastrophe message and call “The Great Global Warming Swindle” dangerous; that it shouldn’t be allowed because it might stop people fighting this “warming”, which is exactly what Ofcom found that it wasn’t and wouldn’t. Why was this broadcast? He gets the run of the field as do many others who say that the debate is over. Yet the one programme that tries to open up the issue to proper debate has all the big guns brought to bear on it, still manages to effectively win out with Ofcom, but doesn’t get a fair hearing at the end of it. (para) I have a similar complaint about Newsnight’s double interview on the Ofcom report. The Channel 4 representative was given very little opportunity to put his point of view mostly because the BBC interviewer kept interrupting with questions about the “seriousness of the errors” etc. while Mr King was given a free run to repeat what he’d said earlier and rubbish the programme’s content. (para) All appears to reinforce, yet again, the lack of impartiality and entrenched view at the BBC, where all programmes coming near the subject appear to have “the debate is over” built in to them. This is unacceptable when there is considerable and growing disageement in the scientific community as to the probable effects of increasing CO2 emmissions. When are we going to start to get some proper balanced reporting and programming on this incredibly important subject?

    When indeed.
    Mike T

  29. henry
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 6:03 AM | Permalink

    Bob Ward said:

    But I really do encourage you to actually read the ruling and absorb its contents. Contrary to the impression you have tried to create, Ofcom did find that the programme contained inaccuracies, but considered that these did not materially mislead viewers so as to cause harm or offence. You will see from the ruling that Channel 4 has admitted at least some of the inaccuracies.

    And along this same line, a court ruled that there were 10 inaccuracies in AIT, yet none of them have been admitted to or changed (IIRC). Which film is more misleading?

  30. Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 6:05 AM | Permalink

    All,

    In defense of Bob Ward, he reacted in an adequate way against the defense on RealClimate of Al Gore’s AIT when it was convicted (on several factual points) in the UK (the original posts aren’t anymore on RC?):

    I am disappointed that RC has not been more constructively critical of ‘An Inconvenient Truth’. Whilst the film may be “broadly accurate”, in the sense that it acknowledges climate change is being driven by greenhouse gas emissions, it clearly has exaggerated the immediacy and magnitude of impacts. Here are two examples. When the film discusses the melting of the ice sheets on Greenland and West Antarctica, it shows an aerial photograph of Manhattan showing it being gradually inundated. Whilst Gore does not mention timescales, the sequence clearly gives an impression of sudden flooding, rather than encroachment over centuries and millenia. Indeed Gore even says “They can measure this precisely, just as the scientists could predict precisely how much water would breach the levy in New Orleans”. You can try to argue that the statements are not explicitly inaccurate, but they are clearly, and probably deliberately, misleading. The second example is the sequence on infectious diseases. The accompanying slides refer to SARS, antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis and avian influenza. If there is a link between climate change and the spread of these diseases, it is not very direct and there are other factors that are far more important. It gives a misleading impression of what is driving the spread of these diseases.

    There are other examples. The images showing Katrina are clearly designed to make the audience believe there is a connection to climate change, even though this cannot be proved. It is a tactic that has been used to great effect in the United States, such that the majority of the public now appear to believe that the two are connected.

    The scientific evidence on climate change is clear enough without the need for exaggeration. ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ misleads about several aspects of the science, and RC should be willing to acknowledge these rather than defending them as ‘technically not wrong’.

    And before anybody tries to cast doubt on my motives, I am definitely not in the ‘denial camp’ (see http://www.climateofdenial.net ).

    Bob was until recently the UK Royal Society’s senior manager of policy communication.

    The essential difference between the conviction of AIT and the decision about GGWS is that the conviction of AIT is directly on misleading representation of facts (or omissions of relevant facts), while there is no discussion of facts in the Ofcom decision, but they clearly show that the film is not misleading in general about the facts the film present, as the filmmakers clearly say from the beginning on that they present a polemic point of view. AIT on the other hand is presented as a “documentary”, thus should be factual correct (which it is not).

    Anyway, I would like to see a discussion between Bob (and the 37 professors) and the scientists interviewed in GGWS about the facts themselves…

  31. Aynsley Kellow
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 6:09 AM | Permalink

    Bob Ward (#16):
    I’m afraid the history of science will not be kind to your period under Lord May at the Royal Society, Bob. I doubt there have been many occasions when the venerable institution has commmitted the genetic fallacy, as it did under your tenure in calling for Exxon-Mobil to stop funding groups supporting the questioning on the consensu sscience on climate change.

    That said, let’s examine the basis of your complaint.

    Exxon was donating $3m to institutes and think tanks giving succour and comfort to sceptical scientists. This includes, let’s remember, the M&M work on the Hockey Stick, because Steve McIntyre’s collaborator is a Fellow at the Fraser Institute, which received (as I recall) $10,000 from Exxon.

    Exxon’s annual philanthropy amounts to over $120m. Its internal expenditure on responding to climate change exceeds $1B. About 20% of its total philanthropy funds a centre at Stanford (a 10 year commitment). There goes Steve Schneider’s reputation!

    The industrial sector most advantaged by decarbonisation policies is natural gas, and Exxon is the largest private and second largest (after Gazprom) producer and reserv holder of natural gas. What exactly is their putative motiive? They certainly oppose Kyoto as being Eurocentric, but their interests are by no means obvious if we move beyond the undergraduate analysis of Sourcewatch.

    I think what was most offensive about your attempt to silence debate (as an office bearer in the International Political Science Association Research Committee on Politics and Business) is the cavalier attitiude demonstrated by the Royal Society in presuming that is possesses wisdom in areas of knowledge where it is demonstrably ignorant, while questioning the credentials of anyone who dares voice dissent — a fundamental betrayal of the principles on which the Royal Society was founded. Businesses such as Exxon-Mobil possess considerable power, but it has almost nothing to do with giving relatively small sums of money to institutes that happen to have an association (no matter how remote) with the sceptical voices the Society should be clebrating.

    Yet you continue in this endeavour!

  32. Paulus
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 6:10 AM | Permalink

    You would think that the AGW establishment would have learnt by now to “let sleeping dogs lie”. Their very public reaction to Ofcom’s decision, not to mention their continued if somewhat sporadic defence of the Hockey Stick would seem to indicate that they have yet to learn what is in their own best interests.

  33. beaker
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 6:15 AM | Permalink

    Ferdinand #31

    Anyway, I would like to see a discussion between Bob (and the 37 professors) and the scientists interviewed in GGWS about the facts themselves…

    Well put, the OFCOM ruling does not address the correctness of the material presented in TGGWS in any scientific sense, and an unbiased and impartial assessment of the argument presented in TGGWS would be much more appropriate.

  34. beaker
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 6:23 AM | Permalink

    Ferdinand, the RC article is still available here, Bob’s first comment appears to be #230 and his comments do demonstrate a balanced scientific attitude IMHO.

  35. Boris
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 7:01 AM | Permalink

    For someone who distances himself from TGGWS, you sure are enjoying a victory lap (or three).

    Do you now endorse the CO2 lag, for example, as a crushing blow to AGW?

  36. Dave Andrews
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 7:05 AM | Permalink

    Somewhat of a rarity for the UK Independent when discussing climate change, a sober and intelligent piece about TGGWS and the Ofcom ruling,

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/mary-dejevsky/mary-dejevsky-dont-silence-those-who-challenge-consensus-873779.html

  37. John Lang
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 7:06 AM | Permalink

    Surely, the people of the planet have the right to see and hear facts and evidence about a very important issue facing us (even if the facts and evidence do not support a consensus position of other people.)

    It is truly disturbing to me that the global warming community wants to ban the publication of any evidence that does not support their viewpoint.

    If the models are off by as little as 50%, the community is causing a great deal of harm to the people of the planet, especially by supressing the publication of just simple factual information.

  38. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 7:11 AM | Permalink

    beaker, please understand that, as I stated on other occasions, I had no involvement in this production. Had I been, I would certainly have urged substantial changes in it. If it were being adopted as the IPCC storyline, it would be what I would be examining rather than the other view.

    I do not agree with some readers that skeptics have shown that climate change is not a problem. As I’ve said on many occasions, serious scientists think that it is a problem and their concerns have not been disproven. What is most frustrating to me is the seeming inability of AGW concernists to provide a clear A-to-B exposition of how doubled CO2 leads to 3 deg C. Regardless of this, as I’ve often said, if I were a policy maker, I’d proceed on advice from properly constituted institutions, but, on a personal basis, I would be frustrated at the apparent lack of clarity in their thinking and their excessive reliance on clerical-style declarations and would have private concerns that this lack of clarity might be a symptom of some deeper issue.

    In order to discuss a “bigger picture”, what we need here is a reference to a clear A-to-B exposition of engineering quality (yeah, I know that I haven’t defined engineering quality, but find a big engineering report and you’ll understand what I mean.)

  39. harold
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 7:29 AM | Permalink

    Does anyone know if the submitted arguments are individually archived?
    I was puzzled by a remark from the IPCC (p 51):

    The IPCC stated that no change could be made to the Summary for Policy Makers
    without the agreement of the IPCC scientists

    I thought the SPM was carved in stone (even before the report is published), but does this imply that the IPCC scientists have a say in the SPR?

    P.S. I am looking forward to the Sir David story be Steve.

  40. beaker
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 7:35 AM | Permalink

    Hi Steve, I didn’t mean to imply that you were a suitable person to contact the BBC becuase of invovlement in TGGWS, just that you would be suitably qualified to comment to ensure balance in their coverage (as would those actually involved – my choice of words was pretty lousy there – sorry!)

    I agree about the lack of A-B exposition, however rather than a lack of clarity of thinking, it seems to me that the subject is just at too early a stage for us to form such a detailed chain of cause and effect based on the limited observations. However, that doesn’t mean that policymakers should not act on the basis of what might come to pass on the basis of our (limited) current understanding.

  41. MrPete
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 7:45 AM | Permalink

    Something (finally) just hit me. Steve’s enduring request for an engineering-quality report is akin to the need for a design document describing the climate model to be coded as a GCM.

    Such a design document would, at minimum, describe in detail the models and parameters that make up a static climate model for a given instant in time, plus the necessary dynamics.

    Has anyone seen such a design document? I haven’t. I think it would be quite revealing, particularly given that crucial elements from clouds to humidity to tropical storm systems are ignored by GCM’s.

    Steve: Pete, it sounds like a good FOI request.

  42. Ian Sims
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 7:48 AM | Permalink

    Bob Ward claims that Swindle’s inaccuracies were excused because Ofcom took the view that “.. the evidence that greenhouse gas emissions is driving climate change was so clear at the time that the programme was broadcast that no viewers will have taken any notice of its content.”

    This appears to be a piece of paraphrasing and extrapolation that would get a producer into trouble if he allowed it in ….. a Channel 4 documentary.

    In their preamble in ‘Factual Accuracy; a) Presented facts in a misleading way’, and before dealing with the specific inaccuracies, Ofcom took the view that “.. the audience would have been in no doubt that the programme’s focus …. challenged the orthodox theory of man-made global warming.” They go on to say “Regardless of whether viewers were in fact persuaded … Ofcom does not believe they could have been materially mislead ……”

    No doubt unintentionally, Bob’s card trumps Ofcom – if you don’t take any notice of the programme you are watching, then you can’t be mislead whatever the programme says. Perhaps Channel 4 could use Bob’s comments here as grounds to appeal the pt 5 Due Impartiality ruling?

    With regard to the specific inaccuracies – e.g. the graph axis and the volcanos – Ofcom simply ruled them insignificant under rule 2.2. No more, and no less.

    In its ‘Due Impartiality’ section, Ofcom says: “..the view of human activity as the major cause of global warming does not appear to be challenged by any of the established political parties …….. therefore the subject matter (in parts 1 to 4) … was not a matter political or industrial controversy ….”

    So Bob needs to decide. Is man-made global warming a “settled science” or is it an ongoing political controversy?

  43. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 7:56 AM | Permalink

    #16. Bob Ward, one of the complainants that was so thoroughly stuffed by the Ofcom decision, stated:

    But I really do encourage you to actually read the ruling and absorb its contents. Contrary to the impression you have tried to create, Ofcom did find that the programme contained inaccuracies, but considered that these did not materially mislead viewers so as to cause harm or offence. You will see from the ruling that Channel 4 has admitted at least some of the inaccuracies.

    Unlike the BBC or for that matter Ward himself, I quoted from the text of the ruling. Ward seems to have trouble reading the nuanced prose of legal decisions, so I’ll help him a little. Channel 4 conceded two inaccuracies in the first broadcast, stating that these two inaccuracies were corrected in the second broadcast, but denied the litany of alleged inaccuracies.

    Ofcom made no attempt to sort out anything that was disputed.

    The complaints set out numerous alleged instances of the way in which facts included in the programme misled viewers. These included the alleged misrepresentation of data, graphs, scientific literature, historical events, press articles, and film footage. Channel 4 in its response defended the programme in respect of all of these issues and Ofcom considered all of the alleged instances of factual inaccuracy in reaching the conclusions contained in this finding. Ofcom is not a fact-finding tribunal and its obligation in this case was to reach a fair and reasonable decision on whether The Great Global Warming Swindle breached the requirements of the Code. Given the ambit of Ofcom’s obligation as regards adjudicating on the complaints, however it was in Ofcom’s opinion impractical and inappropriate for it to examine in detail all of the multifarious alleged examples of factual inaccuracy set out in the complaints.

    The only “agreed” inaccuracies that were identified in the decision were the mislabeling of the temperature graphic (corrected in the 2nd broadcast) and the figure for the amount of CO2 emitted by volcanoes (also corrected in the 2nd broadcast). (The language suggests that Channel 4 may have agreed to some other ones, but doesn’t specify them.)

    Ofcom also noted that Channel 4 admitted to other data errors in the content of the programme. For example the figure given for the amount of carbon dioxide produced by volcanoes was not accurate and was corrected in the repeat of the programme. As with the errors in the graphs, Ofcom did not consider any of these other inaccuracies were of such significance as to be capable of materially misleading the audience so as to cause harm and offence in breach of Rule 2.2.

    So the hurdle for you, dear Bob, is to show that these two “agreed” (and promptly corrected) inaccuracies caused material harm. It’s a little trickier ruling than you think.

    But it is very misleading for you to suggest that Ofcom itself made any decision on an inaccuracy; it did not. It only noted the few instances where the parties agreed and determined that that these few instances did not cause material harm.

  44. Dishman
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 8:07 AM | Permalink

    MrPete, I’ve dug around the GISS GCM archives for a requirements document, and can find no evidence suggesting its existence. My first FOIA hasn’t turned up any evidence of its existence, though it wasn’t broad enough to say that it doesn’t exist.

    Earth System Modeling Framework does have some documentation on interfaces between modules, but I haven’t been able to locate a design requirements document.

    The software used in support of AGW appears to be along the lines of “play with it until it looks good” rather than any particular quality design.

  45. Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 8:24 AM | Permalink

    Steve perhaps you should file a complaint to have your name removed from the credits? ;)

  46. Jon
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 8:26 AM | Permalink

    This view of human activity as the major cause of global warming does not appear to be challenged by any of the established political parties or other significant domestic or international institutions.

    Therefore, in this case, Ofcom considers that the subject matter of Parts One to Four of the programme (i.e. the scientific theory of man-made global warming) was not a matter political or industrial controversy or a matter relating to current public policy. Having reached this view, it follows that the rules relating to the preservation of due impartiality did not apply to these parts. It is important to note that by simple virtue of the fact that one small group of people may disagree with a strongly prevailing consensus on an issue does not automatically make that issue a matter of controversy as defined in legislation and the Code and therefore a matter requiring due impartiality to be preserved.

    Humiliating indeed.

  47. beaker
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 8:26 AM | Permalink

    Steve #43 As far as I can see, the third quote exactly supports the contention made in the first.

    I can’t see how the findings “thoroughly stuffed” anybody, TGGWS nor the plaintiffs. More like a score-draw, with OFCOM refusing to assess the scientific accuracy as beyond its remit and in any case acceptable because it was authored polemic and not contraversial becuase MMGW was already “accepted fact” (or words to that effect). Hardly a ringing endorsement of the accuracy of TGGWS nor a refutation of the claims of innacuracy/misrepresentation from a scientific perspective.

  48. Larry Sheldon
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 8:30 AM | Permalink

    The short summary is this was the BBC reporting on the actions of a modern-day British body.

    Trying to relate any of it to reality is a fools game.

  49. Bob Ward
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 8:58 AM | Permalink

    Well, Steve, I think you have a clear case to take to Ofcom about the programme misrepresenting your contribution to it. It seems that you should be listed alongside David King, Carl Wunsch and the IPCC as parties who were treated unfairly!

  50. gb
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 8:59 AM | Permalink

    About climate modelling. When I use google I find directly documentation of the GISS model E and the CCSM for example. Why is that not good enough? (mrPete: clouds and humidity are included in GCMs). And if you are all so interested in an explanation of the 2-3 degrees of temperature increase, why don’t you do a proper literature search? Are you too lazy? Start with looking for radiative-convective models or a text book on radiation (Pierrehumbert has an online text book). Don’t expect that all details are explained in one single article. Scientific articles also never explain all the background of engineering models.

    Steve: Look, Im not lazy and have looked diligently; that’s why I ask. I’ve asked many people and no one’s been able to give me a reference. In my opinion, this is the sort of thing that IPCC should have done. Pierrehumbert’s book didn’t provide a derivation of doubled CO2 to 3 deg C the last time that I looked. So please stop creating paper chases unless you can vouch for it.

  51. Gary
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 9:07 AM | Permalink

    #41 – MrPete

    Such a design document would, at minimum, describe in detail the models and parameters that make up a static climate model for a given instant in time, plus the necessary dynamics.

    You probably want to see archived grant proposals for creating the early GCMs. Doubtful these are online at NSF and elsewhere, but some nosing about might get you on the right track for an FOI request.

  52. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 9:21 AM | Permalink

    #47. beaker, I’m talking about this from a legal point of view, where, unfortunately, I undoubtedly have a little more experience than most people here.

    Legally, the complainants were “stuffed”. The complainant was not upheld on any of the science issues in terms of Ofcom legislation. It was a total shutout.

    I totally understand that this is not a ruling on science; it is a ruling on trying to seek a remedy in an appropriate place. The complainants sought a remedy where none should have been sought. Given the thoroughness of the loss, it’s too bad that OFcom cannot award costs as they should have been responsible for the costs as they wasted a lot of people’s time with an incompetent complaint.

  53. joy
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 9:39 AM | Permalink

    Steve, if the programme makers had asked if they needed to put your name on the credits what would your reply have been? Asuming that they made any changes to the graphs that were not to your liking. As a non expert inclimatology I am still able to tell a good scientific argument from a bad one. Apart from already corrected and very small points about the film I am interested to hear where the film is not factually representative. I know the film word for word sad as it sounds, but OFCOM even managed to make an error in their quoting of the film. Does that make OFCOM impartial? No it means no-one checked before publishing the statement. There is a world of difference between deliberate misinformation as in AIT and this channel four film. but Beaker and the like stil find it necessary to get out their magnifier to make the most they can about facts that were already corrected. Lastly about the issue of causing harm! As a member of the professions allied to medicine I am qualified, however, to say that Anxiety and stress cause and or exacerbate most common chronic and acute illnesses at some level. Reducing public nervousness about this issue can only have served as a comfort. May the scales fall from your eyes Beaker.

    Steve:
    I had nothing to do with the film so was not entitled to any credit regardless of whether changes were made to a graph or not.

  54. Paul
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 9:45 AM | Permalink

    Bob Ward.

    You seem to have some problems with English comprehension. You state the following (I highlight the key words):

    “The reasoning behind this ruling seems to be that the evidence for greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change was already so clear at the time the programme was broadcast that nobody will have taken any serious notice of the content of the programme.”

    But Ofcom stated nothing of the sort. They stated:

    “Ofcom considers there is a difference between presenting an opinion which attacks an established, mainstream and well understood view, such as in this programme, and criticising a view which is much more widely disputed and contentious. In the former case, programme makers are not always required to ensure the detailed reflection of the mainstream view (since it will already be known and generally accepted by the majority of viewers)”

    So there is nothing “curious” about this ruling at all. Let me spell it out.

    Ofcom recognise and accept that the “concensus” view is extremely well known (that is not the same as saying the “evidence is clear” – i.e. “AGW theory is correct”). Ofcom are only concerned that the viewing public do not need a background primer on the views that programme was polemnically attacking.

    Morevover, it was not the thought that viewers would “not take any serious notice of the content”, but that they would be view the content as contrary to the mainstream views (which they already know) and could evaluate for themsleves.

    Is that the cause of your angst here? That people might evaluate information for themselves?

  55. Francois Ouellette
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 9:45 AM | Permalink

    As often when it comes to the AGW “debate”, this episode reveals how politics and science are treated differently, and how this seems to confuse everybody.

    Science programs are rarely, if ever, accurate. Science journalism is itself rarely, if ever objective. And no one really cares, do they? Except maybe the scientists themselves who see their work grossly oversimplified, or extrapolated, or just “misrepresented”, as has been alleged here. But usually, it is for a good cause: it gives you good publicity, and may help your carreer (though many scientists would rather avoid such publicity). In any case, science journalism mostly serves to glorify, and thus legitimize, the scientific “institution”, that needs such legitimacy, as it mostly relies on pulic funding.

    Political journalism is probably also often inaccurate, but that is because it is often glued to current events and there is little time for comprehensive fact checking. But nevertheless political journalists have very high standards of accuracy, and in most countries, have a pretense at objectivity. But most importantly, political journalists pride themselves in being independent, and not just mouthpieces for the politicians. Indeed, a good democracy requires independent journalism, and the freedom of the press that goes with it.

    As an example, whenever an important public document is released, whether it be the budget, or the results of an enquiry, or whatever else, the political journalists will scrutinize it and look for any signs of political shenanigans, hidden agendas, and so on, not to mention, of course, sheer inaccuracies or inconsistencies.

    But science journalists do not work that way. Most of the time, they ARE the mouthpiece of scientists, or of the institutions that employ them. Whenever they are fed documents, they rarely, if ever, question the contents. “It is science, therefore it is true”, seems to be the rationale behind that attitude. If science journalism should suddenly had to conform to the standards of political journalism, it would be in deep trouble.

    But then there is also a third type of journalism, and it is the one that scientists themselves practice, when they write “articles” for scientific journals. Interestingly, you find that they are held to similar kind of standards that political journalists are bound to. Scientists should be “independent” and objective with respect to the facts that they report, and most of all, avoid inaccuracies and inconsistencies. They should always acknowledge the various different theories, even if they present one that seems to better match the observations.

    So here you end up with a “documentary” that touches on a scientific subject, but with vast political overtones. What is acceptable here? The standards of scientific journalism, or those of political journalism, or those of a science paper? Should the journalists expose the various points of view with equal weight, as in political journalism, or should they just tell a good story, as in most science programs, with little concern for accuracy? Or should they ensure absolute scientific accuracy, as in a scientific paper?

    Hence the total confusion. Ofcom had to rule on this, implicitly. It obviously refused to treat the program as a scientific paper, and leaned towards the rules of political journalism, but with somehow lesser standards, as are applicable to science journalism, assserting that the inaccuracies did not cause “harm or offence”, in other words, as in a good science program, who cares?

    I’m not quite sure what sort of jurisprudence this will create. But it sure is a lesson to the plaintiffs. Next time, don’t confuse the issue. Make sure you identify what “type” of journalism is involved, and what are the proper standards applicable.

  56. Jeff A
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 9:51 AM | Permalink

    Steve McC said: “I do not agree with some readers that skeptics have shown that climate change is not a problem.”

    Isn’t it up to those proposing catastrophe that such things can and will happen? In my opinion those making the extraordinary claims have not provided sufficient evidence of said claims. Because some serious scientists believe it doesn’t make it fact. How many serious scientists thought Einstein was a quack? Or Curie?

    It’s amazing to me, Steve, that you’ve done so much to unravel the web and still toe the company line, even though those in charge of the IPCC (Namely Maurice Strong) have stated in the past that their goals are to de-industrialize the West. Apparently you don’t believe them when they say such things.

    You also accuse others of being snarky or too complaining, and snip their posts, yet your replies to Bob Ward were nothing but snark. I’m confused. What evidence still convinces you that the IPCC, and consequently Al Gore, are correct that we’re all doomed if we continue to use fossil fuels?

  57. MA in VA
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 10:00 AM | Permalink

    While I agree that this represents a victory to those who challenge the “consensus” and “established scientific views” (both which are doubtful anyway) I do find it kind of scary that such an office as OFCom exists at all. While I suppose that almost any speech can be challenged in court (as libel or slander) that remains a fairly high bar compared to “offensive” and “damaging”. Shoot – if we had such a commission in the US there wouldn’t be anything on TV except “Flipper”. Ooops – PETA would get that shut down too.

    Speech isn’t free when such commissions exist – sad for Britain.

  58. jae
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 10:00 AM | Permalink

    50, gb:

    About climate modelling. When I use google I find directly documentation of the GISS model E and the CCSM for example. Why is that not good enough? (mrPete: clouds and humidity are included in GCMs). And if you are all so interested in an explanation of the 2-3 degrees of temperature increase, why don’t you do a proper literature search? Are you too lazy? Start with looking for radiative-convective models or a text book on radiation (Pierrehumbert has an online text book). Don’t expect that all details are explained in one single article. Scientific articles also never explain all the background of engineering models.

    IOW, “trust us.” If your statement were accurate, we would have had some sort of clear exposition a long time ago (yes, all the important details would be put in a single article, or textbook, if necessary). We still don’t any sort of detailed exposition, to my knowledge. And the fact (IMO) that the GCM predictions of “hot spots” in the troposphere have been invalidated by folks such as Spencer and Douglass indicates that the physical theories upon which the models are built are flawed.

  59. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 10:02 AM | Permalink

    Re: #15

    There is a good reason why OFCOM did not find against TGGWS on matters of scientific accuracy, becuase (as it says in their findings) it is neither within their remit, nor their ability to do so. If TGGWS had been presented as a serious documentary containing a balanced analysis of the issue, instead of “authored polemic”, they would have come in for greater criticism. OFCOM can only act if the programme misrepresents the facts to a degree likely to cause harm or offense, which is almost impossible to establish, given the overtly polemic nature of the programme.

    I suspect that what Beaker says about matters of scientific accuracy is true and probably accepted by many of the readers here at CA, but it in turn raises an interesting question: What were the complainant’s purposes for their action? They are evidently a group of well-informed (about complainant’s chances for successes in matters such as these) scientists, but they appear to be taking a route then not to argue the science but to oppose the program based on considerations of how policy is derived and what gets aired on television. That seems to me to be something not included in many scientist’s job descriptions.

  60. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 10:11 AM | Permalink

    please make comments unrelated to Ofcom e,g, spiraling off into climate models, on Unthreaded.

  61. Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 10:37 AM | Permalink

    I have been under the impression that Steve is serious, and not simply as malign as Durkin, but this item causes me to reconsider. The approach taken here is a very grave error and a real shame, I think. I can understand a nonscientific body being shy about judging what is or isn’t a reasonable representation of science, but nobody with any grasp of the issues should condone this level of spin, in any direction. The program presents a theory that is falsifiable and false, and offers evidence that on some occasions is simply insupportable in ways that are simply dishonest.

    The best you can argue, and on this point I would vociferously disagree, is that the skewing of evidence is no worse than that in “Inconvenient Truth”. Even if this were the case, I had thought one point of opponents of Mr Gore was that manipulative presentations of important information were not a positive contribution to the advance of civilization. “No worse than the enemy” is no cause for celebration and no salve to society’s incapacity to consider matters clearly.

    Tolerating that this sort of thing goes on in the name of free speech is one thing; a case can be made, though it is a case that is rather relativist and nihilist and one that is not remotely conservative in any recognizable sense. Celebrating it is another thing entirely. It is hard to know how a society can govern itself when it is confused, and it is hard to understand why deliberate efforts to confuse should be celebrated.

    This sort of rubbing salt in our wounds cannot serve to improve communication between us climate scientists and serious skeptics.

  62. joy
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 10:48 AM | Permalink

    Michael Tobis:
    So how does one qualify as a “serious Sceptic”? Please let me know where I can download an application form. Will yu be the arbiter? Good job you have an “ology

  63. tetris
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 10:51 AM | Permalink

    Re: 47 and 49
    beaker and Bob Ward
    In an effort to spare you any further bleating on about the Ofcom decision, our host’s review of which is superb, let me remind you that TGGWS was prompted in part by “Dr” Gore’s “The Inconvenient Truth”. That particular opus was the subject of High Court ruling last year, which in detail outlined the dozen or so key falsehoods and inaccuracies that movie contains.

    The crucial distinction between the Ofcom and the High Court rulings is that the latter carries legal weight. Thus, because of the High Court ruling, Al Gore was prevented from incorporating it in the UK as part of the legal prospectus he use for his recent fund raising campaign. Anyone wishing to show Dr Gore “documentary” is under court orders to highlight point by point its various falsehoods. Might it be that is why the BBC has yet to air it on one of its channels? It would be interesting indeed to see what Ofcom would do with the litany of very real objections that would be leveled against Maestro Gore’s propaganda piece.

  64. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 10:59 AM | Permalink

    #62. Michael, you folks are so angry all the time that you don’t see straight and don’t read what I write.

    If someone is going to file a complaint with a regulatory body, then they should do so competently. Ward and his folks didn’t. The complaint was unbelievably poorly done. Given your low opinion of the Durkin production, maybe you folks should spend a little time looking in the mirror and asking yourselves how you can do your own jobs better instead of blaming other people all the time. Ask yourself: was the complaint itself botched? If so, how and why was botched? Is it something that should have been done in the first place?

    I would submit that the complaint was seeking comfort where none could be found and was thus destined to be pointless. But even so, it was done very poorly and people need to look in the mirror and realize that.

  65. joy
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 11:02 AM | Permalink

    Michael Tobis:
    I too have an ology! Rub salt into your wound and there is a high and statistically significant chance that it will help it to heal. Fact. Do not perpetuate the myth Michael, it’s irresponsible.

  66. Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 11:08 AM | Permalink

    Re #64
    You’ve mis-stated the context of the High Court hearing regarding “An Inconvenient Truth”, the hearing was whether the film could be circulated for use in schools.
    In that context the film was found to be appropriate but several statements contained in it such as the cause of the melting of the snows of Kilamanjaro were a matter of debate within the scientific community and therefore the notes circulated with the film had to explain that and discuss those points. The finding was under the terms of the Education Act and has no relevance to any other use of the film, contrary to your assertion.

  67. jae
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 11:15 AM | Permalink

    Michael: Enjoy the irony. Somehow, it reminds me of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing!

  68. Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 11:20 AM | Permalink

    Joy, fair enough, good point, thanks, but only if the salt itself isn’t poisoned.

    Others, which of you is a serious skeptic is not for me to decide. I am of the impression that there are a few here, who really would like to consider the facts of the matter independent of the flaws that might exist modern climatology or modern science or modern public debate, many of which you have identified clearly enough. The facts of the matter, however, remain much more daunting than you suspect.

    I am forced to refrain for the present in further conversation in the interests of preserving my time. Steve’s #65 is interesting and does take some of the edge off the original; however that is not what the original says. Steve, you need to decide whether to play to your fans or to try to heal some of the problems. What you say and how you say it will be very different in these cases.

    Apologies that I cannot further engage at this time.

  69. Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 11:27 AM | Permalink

    Of course climate change is a serious matter. It is the hysterical response to Global Warming that is the problem. Warming for whatever reason is less worrisome than cooling. The need to understand climate change is paramount providing it is done sensibly and not by daft predictions.

  70. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 11:27 AM | Permalink

    #69. Michael, re-read the post again; mostly it’s an exposition of the judgement. There’s not a lot of editorializing. I said:

    That’s not to say that Ofcom said that Durkin’s point of view had been vindicated, merely that the complainants were seeking comfort in the wrong bed. Even though complainant Rado said that his complaint had been “peer reviewed” by William Connolley, Ofcom resisted the temptation to opine on scientific truth; instead they did the job assigned to them legislation – to determine whether there had been a violation of Rule 2.2, a possibility that none of the complainants seemed to have considered and for which their preparations were abysmal.

    I don’t see where this differs from #65.

    What exactly in the post irritates you? There’s not much editorializing and I think that the few editorial comments are justified. IF the problem is that you don’t like Swindle – and I’ve never criticized anyone on that account- then that’s a different matter and has nothing to do with my post about the Ofcom decision – which I invite you to re-read technically.

  71. Francois Ouellette
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 11:38 AM | Permalink

    #62 Michael Tobis

    See: you’re confused too! You would like the GGWS to be held to the same standards as a scientific paper. In that case, every science program should be the same. Just take one episode of “Nova”, for example, and go ask the scientists involved if it was accurate.

    You also show that you adhere to the model where a science program’s goal is to give a good “representation of science”, ie. be a mouthpiece for scientists, and legitimacy to the scientific institution. Showing dissent in the scientific community risks undemining the scientists’ credility in general, not just in regards to AGW. If you are familiar with Bruno Latour’s sociology of science (actor network theory), you will realize that the proponents of AGW have mostly succeeded in garnering the support of scientists of all fields by “translating” the question. So it’s not only if AGW is right or wrong, it’s whether scientists should be trusted or not. Any questioning of AGW is “translated” into a questioning of science’s legitimacy in the public eye. Doing that, you ensure that the entire scientific body has joined, and reinforced, your “network”.

    The attack on TGGWS is really to ensure that that link in the network “chain” is not weakened.

    As I said, I think the plaintiffs lost because they were themselves confused, and could not make it clear to Ofcom exactly what standards of journalism were not respected in that case. Scientists cannot accept that most science journalism be held to poor standards of accuracy, and suddenly change their minds and treat a science program as a piece of political journalism combined with a scientific paper. Your complaint about not “giving a good representation of science” is revealing in that way, IMO.

  72. bender
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 11:39 AM | Permalink

    Re: “incorrect” crediting of McIntyre in Swindle
    Credit does not require a material contribution. Inspiration merits credit too. No one has the right to have his name removed from an acknowledgement. You may not like it, but you must live with it.

  73. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 11:58 AM | Permalink

    Let me also clarify that, in my own comments, I try not to go a bridge too far nor do I feel responsible for defending comments other than my own.

    For example, I thought that the strident accusations of “lies” in Swindle were inappropriate as, regardless of whether the scientists in question are right or wrong, the accusation is unfair. If I were a complainant, I’d have gone after something like this. Focus on the one or two things that really grated and which were maybe winnable. Instead the complainants waded into things like the Hockey Stick. As a result, Ofcom pondered esoteric and inessential issues like the Swindle account of the history of the environmental movement and not whether the polemical accusations of “LIES” were justified under the legislation.

  74. Francois Ouellette
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 12:08 PM | Permalink

    At the risk of taking too much of CA’s bandwidth, which could lead to snipping, here’s another comment, this time on “accuracy”, because it’s central to the debate.

    Accuracy, again, has different meanings whether you’re talking about a scientific article, or a paper of standard journalism (which I call political journalism, because it mostly deals with politics). In the former case, accuracy is about the facts that relate to the topic being studied, say the results of an experiment. You should not, in a scientific paper, lie about the results of an experiment, or of a calculation. You’re not even allowed (in principle) to make honest mistakes. The review process is an attempt at ensuring such a level of “accuracy”.

    But in standard journalism, accuracy is a different thing. Politics is about what various people think, and everybody is entitled to their opinion. Having a different opinion is quite legitimate, even having a different opinion on “facts”, ie. a different “interpretation” of facts. Therefore, if someone appears on a TV interview, and states that he/she disagrees with, say, a government policy, that is perfectly legitimate. No one will require that opinion to be based on an accurate and “scientific” assessment of such policy’s success (or lack of). The “accuracy” that is required from the journalist is only to faithfully report what such and such person has said.

    That’s why Ofcom to some degree treated TGGWS as a piece of standard journalism. If someone was misquoted, or misrepresented, THEN, it is bad journalism. But if someone is interviewed, and expresses his/her own scientific ideas, and their opinion is not distorted or misrepresented, then there is nothing wrong with it.

    I have watched TGGWS quite some time ago, so I don’t remember it exactly, but I don’t recall that it presented some theory as “the true theory”. Rather, it presented a minority point of view, and people who expressed that point of view honestly. So, in terms of standard journalism, it was “accurate”. Maybe in terms of a scientific paper, it wasn’t, but it wasn’t a scientific paper either.

    As opposed to that, as I said, most traditional science programs don’t hesitate to present scientific findings as “the truth”, without anyone ever complaining.

    O.K. I think I’m done now.

  75. bmcburney
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 12:19 PM | Permalink

    Steve-

    This is only a suggestion but I think it is time to give up asking for an engineering quality “derivation of doubled CO2 to 3 deg C.” This is simply too hard. I suggest you ask for an engineering quality derivation showing that doubled CO2 produces any amount of global temp. change greater than .1 deg C. If, as Dr. Tobis would say, that proposition is falsifiable but not false, he might be induced to stay on the board long enough to demonstrate it. I am sure it would be worth his time.

  76. scp
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 12:25 PM | Permalink

    I was struck by this excerpt…

    The complainants said that the public is much more familiar with weather forecasts – and their uncertainty – than with climatology. The complainants said that, because the difference between weather and climate may not be well known among the general public, the description of climate models as unreliable could have misled viewers about the ability of scientists to predict climate: because viewers may have understood climate models to be the same as weather forecasts.

    So the complainants don’t want the public to be confused by the track record of weather forecasts, as compared to actual weather. Presumably, then, they’d prefer for me (the general public) to be comparing the track record of climate forecasts as compared to actual observations when evaluating the ability of climate scientists to predict climate.

    I’d love to accommodate. So where can I get my hands on some 30 year old climate forecasts to compare against the actual observed climate over the last 30 years?

    Seems to me, given the choice between unreliable or untested, the complainants should have left well-enough alone with regards to the question of climate vs. weather.

    I also note the use of the word “predict”, not “project” and not “scenario” in the phrase “ability of scientists to predict climate”.

  77. per
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 12:32 PM | Permalink

    the complaint about carl wunsch is of interest.

    1) wunsch complained because he wasn’t adequately provided with details of the programme. Reviewing the correspondence which ofcom prints, I think the correspondence is fairly clear about the programme’s perspective and intent. Ofcom thinks that WagTV should have been even more detailed, and should for example, have disclosed a good deal of the script so that Wunsch could have looked at it, and seen whether he approved.

    I am having difficulties imagining that this particular standard will be consistently enforced in future judgements.

    2) Wunsch complained that by being on the same programme as “global warmer deniers”, he would be assumed to be one himself ! Ofcom said “viewers were very likely to understand from the context of the programme in which his comments were used, that Professor Wunsch’s agreed with the premise of the programme.” So even though the programme did not contend that he was against AGW, the very fact of his being on the programme did, and was unfair to him. Given that Wunsch was informed of several of the other participants, this seems to be topsy-turvy land. I am having difficulties imagining that this particular standard will be consistently enforced in future judgements.

    3) Wunsch’s work on CO2; so the stuff that wunsch talked about in the programme was fairly represented. Complaint dismissed.

    per

  78. bmcburney
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 12:41 PM | Permalink

    Obviously, I did not mean to imply that the entire engineering study would appear in these comment pages. I am sure space could be found somewhere.

  79. Mike C
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 12:44 PM | Permalink

    Michael Tobis and Bob Ward,

    Steve is correct, you arte both too angry at the moment. I feel for you guys, it has been a bad year for your AGW campaign; this ruling, cooling global temperatures, people tired of shoveling snow, the judgement against Al Gore’s movie, the discovery of the terrible condition of surface stations…etc, etc, etc. I’m sure you are both really nice guys so when this is all over maybe we can have a barbecue at the local temperature station, you can drink it off. ;)

  80. Stan Palmer
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 1:22 PM | Permalink

    f you believe that science is a social construct you have a lot of explaining to do about how my ideas are glowing on phosphors in front of your nose.

    This is a scientific question. Why did humanity spend the resources to create a worldwide communication network to exchange ideas? Why did it construct the scientific and engineering network to do this? Perhaps the sociologists can answer this for us. perhaps they already have. The answer is certainly contingent on certain developments in irreligious philosphy in the late Roman Empire.

    Now the same question can be applied to AGW. Why does anyone care? Why did Stern set his discount rate at the value he did? We will all be dead when the future generations that he cares about are alive. They have no possible way of affecting us. Wy do we care?

    These are social questions and that is why the science that exists (not science in the ideal) is a social construct.

  81. trevor
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 2:35 PM | Permalink

    Re #62, Michael Tobis, 10:37am:

    Sweet, coming from you! I have frequented your website in recent times, so understand your positions.

  82. trevor
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 2:41 PM | Permalink

    complainant Rado said that his complaint had been “peer reviewed” by William Connolley

    Connolley’s work at Wikipedia certainly demonstrates his level of commitment to dispassionate, independent evaluation of disparate views. Peer Review from him is a ringing endorsement. But perhaps not of the kind the proponent would wish.

  83. Bill P
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 2:43 PM | Permalink

    Carl Wunsch was one of several experts who helped anchor the program in legitimate science so it was disappointing, to see him taking legal exception to his own presentation. But then, it would also seem that various parties in climate science are busy playing an extremely sophisticated game with public forums, generally. It appears Dr. Wunsch was prepared to throw daggers to puncture alarmist AGW dogma, while he eschews the role of knife-thrower. Since it’s a respected role in a circus, one might have reason to hope that we’ll see Dr. Wunsch back under the bigtop soon?

  84. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 2:44 PM | Permalink

    Could this be any clearer? What the heck is the issue here.

    IF the problem is that you don’t like Swindle - and I’ve never criticized anyone on that account- then that’s a different matter and has nothing to do with my post about the Ofcom decision – which I invite you to re-read technically.

    Or all in all, forgetting about what 2XCO2 does, is the anomaly accurately representing increases in energy levels or not? This is what a true skeptic asks, along with the question that if the anomaly is an accurate proxy for energy levels, and correct in and of itself, is 7 billion people and their technology and industry and urbanization a better answer than .0001 parts more in the atmosphere of carbon dioxide?? Do the models take the negative feedback loop of the hydrosphere into account properly?

    Many questions to answer, and yet now all we have is opinions on a variety of topics, hence AIT vs GGWS. Pick yer side; I’m in the middle. One thing is clear, which is nothing.

    To the complaints:

    Claim: Global average temperature today is not as high as it was during other times in recent history, such as the Medieval Warm Period, indicating that the recent warming trend is a natural phenomenon.

    The conclusion might be incorrect (it goes too far, in my opinion) but there have been other times in the last few hundred years it’s been warmer. Somebody needs to decide if they want climate to be local or global. But I’m sure it’s unprecedented.

    Claim: Global average temperature decreased between 1940 and 1980, and so could not depend on atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, which increased over this period.

    Look at the graphs.

    Claim: Models of the increase in global average temperature due to a rise in the concentration of atmospheric greenhouse gases suggest that the troposphere should warm faster than the surface, but the data shows that the surface is warming more quickly, indicating that anthropogenic climate change is not occurring.

    Perhaps there are other reasons. Or even other reasons. Or maybe nothing is happening. Or maybe it’s all just water Perhaps a little bit of UHI?

    Claim: Volcanoes produce far more carbon dioxide than human activities, so anthropogenic greenhouse gases cannot be having a significant effect on global average temperature.

    See the above graphs. And, while you’re at it, think about how UHI can’t affect weather patterns or heat budgets, of course.

    Claim: Ice cores show that during earlier periods in the Earth’s history, rises in carbon dioxide followed increases in temperature, and therefore the current rise in greenhouse gas concentrations has not caused the recent increase in global average temperature.

    How much discussion has this started! Oh, and the poles are like the equator, too, right?

    Claim: The oceans expel large volumes of carbon dioxide when they warm, so emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities cannot be responsible for the rise in global average temperature.

    That seems a little strong. But we do know the oceans do hold carbon dioxide; what was that empirical measurement of the amounts and the lag again? I need my memory refreshed.

    Claim: The variation in global average temperature over the last couple of centuries
    can be explained by the effect of solar activity instead of the rise in greenhouse gas concentrations since the Industrial Revolution

    It can, but I don’t know how convincing this is (from either “side”). Then again, just because you can’t find your keys doesn’t mean they’re not someplace. You just haven’t found them yet.

  85. richard
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 2:49 PM | Permalink

    I enjoyed the GGWS on a theatrical level, but never considered it a serious piece of science, just the same as I thought that AIT was a mediocre piece of entertainment with limited science content. For anyone of moderate intelligence they should be able to detect the difference between serious science reporting and entertainment.

    The AGW big guns going to OFCOM were part of a total of less than 300 complaints! Clearly the complainants mainly were t’d off that the high priests had been challenged, and they were going to make sure that such heresy was nipped in the bud. It would be interesting to match the names of the complaint authors with IPCC scientists (of which there must be a good couple of hundred at Hadley/Met Office alone).

    An embarrassing outing for the AGW alarmists and one more example of chickin little crying that the skies falling….

  86. richard
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 2:51 PM | Permalink

    sorry, ” …sky’s falling”!

  87. Craig Loehle
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 3:15 PM | Permalink

    Bob Ward: It is not correct that censorship should be applied to news or documentary items that have factual inaccuracies. News reports daily make statements about the stock market, the economy, diet, medicine, and any other topic that have factual errors. We allow this as part of free speech. People may be very convinced that some particular diet, such as vegetarian, is absolutely essential for people to adopt. We allow them to express this point of view. It should not be the business of the Royal Society to try to censor public debate on a scientific topic. If the facts are so obvious and agreed upon, then the public, which is not stupid, should easily be able to see through TGGWS. The scientists interviewed in the film such as Richard Linzen are credible scientists and have well thought-out positions. Ad hominem attacks on such people do not reflect well on those making the attacks.

  88. Jordan
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 3:18 PM | Permalink

    Is it rather revealing how those complainants showed themselves to be so easy to unsettle? A lack of confidence there?

    Having had so much attention from qualified people, and having submitted corrections in response to their opinions, are we now entitled to refer to GGWS as being peer reviewed?

  89. TonyA
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 3:50 PM | Permalink

    I particularly liked this part (on page 10), where Ofcom outlines Channel 4’s beautifully understated response to the question of factual accuracy of the disputed temperature graphic:

    In relation to the question of whether graphs used in the programme were misleading, Channel 4 made the general point that graphs of past temperature are always based on data sets derived from a variety of complex sources and are open to argument and debate.

  90. Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 4:17 PM | Permalink

    Re #91

    Actually Craig you’re wrong, under Ofcom rules, news programmes are required to be truthful. From the report:
    “However, whilst Ofcom is required by the 2003 Act to set standards to ensure that news programmes are reported with “due accuracy” there is no such requirement for other types of programming, including factual programmes of this type.”

  91. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 4:32 PM | Permalink

    Michael Tobis has posted a characterization of my post that characterizes my post as saying exactly the opposite of what I wrote in black and white.

    In my post, I said that Durkin had not been “vindicated”.

    That’s not to say that Ofcom said that Durkin’s point of view had been vindicated, merely that the complainants were seeking comfort in the wrong bed. Even though complainant Rado said that his complaint had been “peer reviewed” by William Connolley, Ofcom resisted the temptation to opine on scientific truth; instead they did the job assigned to them legislation – to determine whether there had been a violation of Rule 2.2, a possibility that none of the complainants seemed to have considered and for which their preparations were abysmal.

    I repeated the statement that he had not been “vindicated” twice in the comments here here, including once in reponse to Michael Tobis.

    Notwithstanding these clear and repeated statements that Durkin had not been “vindicated” by Ofcom (which is a quite different thing than thecomplainants being stuffed), Tobis told his readers at his blog that he had siad the exact opposite – that I claimed that Durkin had been vindicated. Tobis: in a post about “How the Public is Deliberately Misled”, then misleads his reading public by attributing to me a statement where I had said the opposite three times.

    McIntyre is portraying this as complete vindication of the propagandists.

    Maybe he was trying to see if his readers could pass a skill-testing question on being misled. If Tobis wants to talk to his readers about “deliberate misleading”, maybe he could start by withdrawing his untrue and misleading characterization of my post.

  92. Raven
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 5:10 PM | Permalink

    Michael Tobis says:

    That most scientific bodies support the small climate science community in such a claim does constitute legitimate evidence in its favor.

    I think that support does not come from an understanding of the science involved but from a willingness to trust the word of other scientists. For example, I doubt most biologists or chemists understand the intricacies of the climate models nor would they have the expertise to determine whether the model output is has any connection to reality. This means that when confronted with assertions that are only supported by climate models they are forced to accept the assertions as fact because they don’t have the expertise required to justify rejecting these assertions.

    Once other scientists have given into the professional blackmail that requires them to express support for the climate models they must also express support for all conclusions based on the output of those models. This results in a ‘consensus’ which is largely artificial and will come crashing down if the real world data demonstrates that the climate modellers don’t know what they are talking about.

    That is why we should not put much weight on the numbers of scientists that support the AGW view. The only thing worth discussing is how do we validate the climate models and determine whether their output has any connection to reality. The fact that the climate modelling community strenuously objects whenever someone tries to compare the model output to reality raises many red flags.

  93. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 5:34 PM | Permalink

    The Rado complaint profiled at BBC is online here. In my head post, I noted that the complaint was considered under sections 2.2 and 5 of the Broadcasting Code online here http://www.ofcom.org.uk/tv/ifi/codes/bcode/. Over at Deltoid, Rado complains that the accuracy sections were considered under 2.2 instead of 5.7.

    although the accuracy sections of our complaint were considered under section 2.2 of the broadcasting code, that was not the section that we had complained under. We complained primarily under section 5.7, but Ofcom decided section 5.7 only related to news programmes. We don’t think the code makes it at all clear that it the requirement for accuracy only applies to news programmes (which is why we complained under that section) – and if it’s really true that science documentaries are not expected to be accurate, that is a serious indictment of the broadcasting code.

    They really don’t understand why they lost. In fact, Ofcom was very generous to them in considering their complaint under 2.2, given the incompetent failure of the complainants to originally complain under this policy. It’s too bad that they don’t read CA or maybe they could frame their positions more intelligently. They get better advice here than anywhere.

    Rado and whoever, I’ll try again. OFcom did not reject the section 5 complaint because Swindle wasn;t a “news program”. It rejected it because the Complaint said that the science was “settled” and Channel 4 submitted evidence from UK government statements that the science was no longer a matter of “political or industrial controversy”. Rado – you have to make up your mind: if you want to complain about the science under section 5, then you cannot also take the position that the science is “settled”. Not a fun choice.

    Section 2.2 reads as follows

    2.2 Factual programmes or items or portrayals of factual matters must not materially mislead the audience.

    It was incompetent of the complainants not to have referred to this section in the first place and, rather than whining about Ofcom considering this section, Rado should thank Ofcom for considering issues under this section.

  94. Mike C
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 6:13 PM | Permalink

    Steve # 94

    I’m not sure if it to do with WHY they lost as much as it has to do with WHAT they lost. WHAT they lost was their attempt to control the media using government authority.

  95. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 6:37 PM | Permalink

    Steve, you’ve given “them” tons of good advice, but instead of considering the information, they seem to have this deluded world-view of you and what you do and discount the information. In my opinion, it seems so. My way of thinking is that this isn’t the first post where you’ve made suggestions to fix a lack of understanding (quite very well said), but that advice is ignored and countered with non-sequiters and objections based upon opinion (and mistaken opinions at that).

    Maybe there’s a reason so many here with these false ideas that you’re a “denier” are strangly quiet when I make some of my comments. Perhaps they know their naive ideas and poorly focused arguments would be dug into too well in reply? ‘Tis mere conjecture on my part, but as the saying goes, if you can’t stand the heat, get out of having a large carbon footprint. Or something along those lines….

  96. Craig Loehle
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 6:41 PM | Permalink

    Phil: there is a difference between truthful and accurate. Many news stories including those about science have many mistakes and they are not censored.

  97. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 7:39 PM | Permalink

    Michael Tobis has taken note at his blog of my #92 and posted a very unsatisfactory reply. He says:

    I concede that McIntyre has adopted a conciliatory tone in his response to me and explicitly disavowed vindication in that reply, as well as perhaps elsewhere.

    Oh puh-leeze. “as perhaps elsewhere” – like maybe the very post that Tobis misrepresented. Climate scientists seem allergic to direct quotations and Tobis has now made several criticisms of me without once quoting what I actually said in respect to vindication. Let me say :et me repeat it one more time. In the post I said:

    That’s not to say that Ofcom said that Durkin’s point of view had been vindicated, merely that the complainants were seeking comfort in the wrong bed.

    Tobis initially said misrepresented my post by saying that I claimed that Durkin bad been “vindicated” – the exact opposite of what I said. When called on this, instead of conceding the point and getting on with things, he’s stubbornly refused to acknowledge his original mistake. Instead of conceding that I had said this in the original post that he “misrepresented”, he uses the evasive words “as perhaps elsewhere”. Once again, in a post that purports to condemn the practice of deliberately misleading, Tobis is setting a bad example. C’mon, Michael, it’s not so hard. You made a mistake in how you described my original post. Stuff happens. But deal with it; don’t get into this “as perhaps elsewhere” nonsense.

  98. jae
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 8:21 PM | Permalink

    Tobis initially said misrepresented my post by saying that I claimed that Durkin bad been “vindicated” – the exact opposite of what I said. When called on this, instead of conceding the point and getting on with things, he’s stubbornly refused to acknowledge his original mistake. Instead of conceding that I had said this in the original post that he “misrepresented”, he uses the evasive words “as perhaps elsewhere”.

    There seems to be a pattern here, WRT certain segments of climate science. Do they really think they are making points somewhere?

  99. jae
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 8:25 PM | Permalink

    They really don’t understand why they lost. In fact, Ofcom was very generous to them in considering their complaint under 2.2, given the incompetent failure of the complainants to originally complain under this policy. It’s too bad that they don’t read CA or maybe they could frame their positions more intelligently. They get better advice here than anywhere.

    Yup, they just don’t seem to get it. More irony!

  100. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 10:54 PM | Permalink

    Here’s some comments from James Annan:

    Although C4 did get criticised for the unfair way it had treated Sir David King, Prof Carl Wunsch and the IPCC (and will have to publish an apology), they got off remarkably lightly on the question of “materially misleading”

    Yes. The complainants essentially got nothing.

    Annan says:

    climate science is not “a matter of political or industrial controversy or matter relating to current public policy”, thus OFCOM doesn’t require the presentation of it to be impartial or balanced (the economics-focussed section of the program did breach this bit of the code, however). It sort of has a valid internal logic in a smugly complacent middle-class sort of way, but leaves me wondering what OFCOM is actually for.

    I don’t think that he phrased it as precisely as I did, but he was at least on the right track of the reasoning here. I described the decision as “ironic”.

    Tobis accuses my post of being a “celebratory bleat”, I’ve tried to re-read the post to see exactly what is offensive about it. IS it because I called it a “remarkable decision”? Well, Annan uses the word “remarkable” as well in a similar context.

    Is it because I suggested to the complainants how they might have improved their complaint?

    Here’s a bit of advice from me to the complainants – you’d have been better off to pick your 4 best issues and stick to them, no matter how interesting the other ones seemed; write a blog on the other ones if you want, but the risk of presenting too many issues to a tribunal is that they’ll end up picking 4 issues to consider anyway and, by throwing too many spitballs against the wall, you end up being stuck with the choices that they make. Were I crafting the complaint, I would not have picked the 4 issues that Ofcom focused on as my priority issues. But the complainants failed to prioritize and got stuck with the issues that Ofcom selected.

    I had the same advice given to me many years ago and was just passing it along. It’s good advice.

    Is it because I said that the ruling had a “fine touch of irony”? Annan says something similar: “It sort of has a valid internal logic”.

    Is it because I said that the complainants got “stuffed”? Well, Annan said that the production got off “Remarkably lightly”. Aren’t these two sides of the same coin? One side won; one side lost. Annan agreed that the production got off “remarkably lightly” [and yes, they weren’t “vindicated”]; ergo the complainants were remarkably unsuccessful. Just calling it as it is.

  101. dover_beach
    Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 11:26 PM | Permalink

    #101:

    It sort of has a valid internal logic in a smugly complacent middle-class sort of way,…

    Indeed. Physician, heal thyself.

  102. Posted Jul 22, 2008 at 11:45 PM | Permalink

    Re #97

    Phil: there is a difference between truthful and accurate. Many news stories including those about science have many mistakes and they are not censored.

    We’re not talking about Fox News here:
    5.2 Significant mistakes in news should normally be acknowledged and corrected on air quickly. Corrections should be appropriately scheduled.

  103. AndyW
    Posted Jul 23, 2008 at 12:16 AM | Permalink

    Living in the UK and having watched that program all I can say is that is it a disgrace to the likes of other UK science programs that put both sides of the argument across and lets the viewer come to an opinion, such as Equinox and Horizon.

    This program had it’s own opinion and reminded me of a similar program about the Apollo moon missions being fake which only puts one side of the argument across.

    Whatever the decision of OFCOM the production staff of that embarressment to british science broadcasting should be made into pariahs.

    Utter, utter rubbish.

  104. py
    Posted Jul 23, 2008 at 1:20 AM | Permalink

    Err AndyW, I think you’ll find Horizon’s impartiality disappeared over the horizon long ago… Durkin’s documentary was advertised as a polemic before it was shown. I know, I saw the trailers. Not sure what else you can expect other than a one sided argument. This is one of the factors Ofcom used in its ruling and Channel4 used in its defense.

    Of course if you find the contents disagreeable, you could always avoid watching it, much like I do when anything concerning David or Victoria Beckham is shown.

  105. ian
    Posted Jul 23, 2008 at 2:37 AM | Permalink

    Perhaps someone should complain to ofcom about the accuracy and bias of the bbc’s reporting of their decision.

  106. Rob Guenier
    Posted Jul 23, 2008 at 2:39 AM | Permalink

    A BBC article about the Ofcom decision uses as its main illustration the long discredited hockey-stick graph. What’s especially deplorable about this is that the author, referring to Channel 4’s programme, complains that “a public service broadcaster should not be allowed to deceive the public about science” and should not have “recycled long discredited myths … in an apparent attempt to massage data in order to support their desired conclusions”. Do I detect a whiff of hypocrisy?

  107. AndyW
    Posted Jul 23, 2008 at 3:06 AM | Permalink

    #105

    There was no trailer at the start of the program so I was lead to believe it was something it was not. In fact they should have put a disclaimer right before the start stating it was not a science program and instead a biased diatribe. Given that I could agree with you statement not to watch something I find disagreeable, but as they did not then I cannot be expected to know what a program contains without watching it as you illogically suggest.

    As for comparing Horizon to this, I’d like you to list one of their programmes which did the same as this one if possible.

    My mother would say this program is a load of old tripe. And she’d be right.

  108. harold
    Posted Jul 23, 2008 at 3:28 AM | Permalink

    I don’t think this link has been posted here, the OfcomSwindleComplaint website. For people who can’t get enough of this stuff.

    http://www.ofcomswindlecomplaint.net/

  109. Posted Jul 23, 2008 at 3:43 AM | Permalink

    AndyW,

    As far as I have heard, the film was announced as “controversial” from the start on (it was anyway that way for the Flemish TV here), and that it was opposite the mainstream science. It never was announced as a “documentary”, unlike what happened with Al Gore’s AIT. But in fact both were made to show a one-sided view on climate change, not to give a balanced view as a real documentary should do (which is seldom the case).

    Why do you think that the program was a load of old tripe? Convinced by the stream of pro-AGW “documentaries”? Thus anything that is against the main stream must be wrong and since long discredited? I do differ in opinion from TGGWS in several points, but it was high time to see something from the other side of the debate, which until then was nearly completely absent in the media.

    I have seen several films made by David Attenborough, mighty ones, but even he is trapped in the mainstream climate change dogma’s, including the disappearing of a large number of species, which is, based on the main expert in that field, pure speculation based on faulty computer models…

  110. AndyW
    Posted Jul 23, 2008 at 4:22 AM | Permalink

    #110 As I mentioned above they could not guarrantee that people would not know what it was about as not everyone who sees any program can be assumed to have seen a trailer. So that does not stand up as a defence.

    As for it being rubbish, I would equally say something that blindly put forward AGW with no counter points as being equally bad when there is a divergence of opinion on the matter. A lot of the comments on this blog by postees mention the hype of the media in relation to AGW with no counterpoint or argument to the contrary but here we have exactly the same hype but the other way around. You cannot put your sense of critism on the side just because it supports a viewpoint you find favourable, either pro or anti AGM.

    I don’t care on the validity or not of this programmes points, what I strongly object to was that it it did not put it’s agenda on the table up front so could be mistaken for what it was not, ie a scientifc doumentary.

    When there is a scientific debate what value does a programme add when it only puts one side across? None whatsoever. It used a trick and added no value but made some people some money. That’s why I give it no truck whatsoever.

  111. PhilD
    Posted Jul 23, 2008 at 5:06 AM | Permalink

    #111

    Apologies for chipping in but I don’t see what else they could have done?! They showed a trailer (more than once) and it was pretty clear what this programme was going to be about. The fact that not everyone could have/did see it before watching it is neither here nor there, the fact is that trailers were shown.

    I agree about one-sided programmes but GGWS but never advertised as anything other than one-sided – I got the impression, before I saw it, that it was going to be counter-point to Al Gore’s AIT. It’s science programmes that purport to present a full and balanced view of a topic but that only show one single POV that are a problem (I wish I could think of some examples….)

  112. Craig Loehle
    Posted Jul 23, 2008 at 5:17 AM | Permalink

    AndyW: In order to have a debate, you must allow both sides to have the floor. In the main the media have not even allowed the possibility that there is another side, and those who attempt to comment are tarred and feathered as denialists. The film can be considered a rebuttal to the mainstream media hysteria. A rebuttal in a debate does not need to be “balanced”–it doesn’t even make sense to demand it. I think the IPCC view is universally known. As for the quality of the video (which I have quibbles with as do many at CA), that is beside the point. The point is that there are qualified scientists with coherent opinions whose views are worth hearing, such as Lindzen or Spencer. For a better rebuttal presentation look up Bob Carter on YouTube.

  113. harold
    Posted Jul 23, 2008 at 5:26 AM | Permalink

    re 109
    I thought the OfcomSwindleComplaint website was a site installed by Ofcom, it has a lot of information but it seems to be an AGW site. The Website credits and Contact us pages are still empty. Anyone here who has more info?

  114. Craig Loehle
    Posted Jul 23, 2008 at 5:29 AM | Permalink

    Phil: while it may state in the code that errors in news programs must be corrected, this is usually only enforced relative to obvious matters of fact and usually about politics. Have you ever been interviewed for news and then seen what was reported? It can be very disappointing. Do you imagine that bias is not rampant in the media on any issue you could choose? For example, for months in San Francisco there has been debate about the homeless problem, because the begging and weird behavior bother the tourists. It finally came out last week that at least 75% of the “homeless” have city-provided housing. How about science documentaries. Have you ever seen documentaries about Africa or Asia from the 1950s or so? Very racist, condescending, and ill-informed. Oh sure we are better now, but documentaries on science topics often try to spin it to be scary–like the ones showing how germs are on everything you touch or how toys are not inspected for lead before import or whatever the topic. All science news is factually correct? Please.

  115. bernie
    Posted Jul 23, 2008 at 5:56 AM | Permalink

    #112
    PhilD:
    Nova last night had a story on EO Wilson. The claims to the destruction of habitat and mass extinction of species went uncommented
    on. On the other hand, they did include counterpoints on Wilson’s emphasis on the genetic basis of social behaviors. The program was actuallly very interesting and Wilson, of course, is a very interesting and provocative scientist. Fortunately for him he is ultimately considered a liberal otherwise he would probably have been hit with more than water during his lectures at Harvard.

  116. py
    Posted Jul 23, 2008 at 6:29 AM | Permalink

    AndyW

    As mentioned, Swindle was described as a polemic, it is by its nature, one sided. The consumer knew what they were going to get.

    Compare this with the Horizon episode on global dimming, that gave the point of view that climate sensitivity has been underestimated, that global warming has been masked, and things are far worse then predicted.

    Now, whether you agree with Horizons conclusions or not, was this presented in a balanced way? Was a counter argument provided so that the viewer could make up their own mind?

  117. AndyW
    Posted Jul 23, 2008 at 6:39 AM | Permalink

    #112 and #113

    I’ve covered both these points before, briefly a) disclaimer at the start of the program and b) two wrongs don’t make a right in arguing against media hype for AGW.

    Note here I am not commenting on the evidence the programme gave but the way it did it.

    I guess as a person somewhat sitting on the fence I found it very distasteful to once again be just shown one side of the argument. The problem is that without both viewpoints a lot of viewers who do not know as much detail as yourselves will not have yardstick to judge what was being postulated and would come away with the wrong impression. Thanks to money making journalism.

    I keep mentioning the Fox moon landing were a hoax program because it had the same way of working, only evidence for was put forward. Look at this page

    http://www.badastronomy.com/bad/tv/foxapollo.html

    Forget the reasons why it was bad, the main good thing was at least it DID put the disclaimer in at the start, something this programme failed to do.

    This is my last word on the subject as the topic is about the content of the programme not my thoughts on about had badly it was done.

  118. jae
    Posted Jul 23, 2008 at 6:54 AM | Permalink

    AndyW: The title might have given you a clue about what the film contained.

  119. AndyW
    Posted Jul 23, 2008 at 6:57 AM | Permalink

    #117, you wrote that whilst I was posting my “last word” on the subject so now I will be a liar if I answer your point on Horizon. :)

  120. joy
    Posted Jul 23, 2008 at 7:32 AM | Permalink

    Andy W:
    Martin should have run the programme passed your mum for approval then. pity Channel four didn’t know there existed such a resource.
    I thought the programme was abreath of fresh air in amongst all the propa ganda that tries to get the public in line on this issue.
    As for global dimming!Well doesn’t that programme by definition assume that AGW is already a given and so is therefore biased from the start? I thought that programme was up there with spaghetti trees and flying penguines.
    There exists not ne topic tht the media are able to report on in an unbiased, or spun, or sexed up manner. They don’t get medical documentaries/ news items right either.

  121. joy
    Posted Jul 23, 2008 at 8:11 AM | Permalink

    Andy W:
    Martin should have run the programme passed your um for approval then. pity Channel four didn’t know there existed such a resource.
    I thought the programme was abreath of fresh air in amongst all the propaganda that tries to get the public in line on this issue.
    As for global dimming!Well doesn’t that programme by definition assume that AGW is already a given and so is therefore biased from the start? I thought that programme was up there with spaghetti trees and flying penguines.
    There exists not one topic that the media are able to report on in an unbiased, or spun, or sexed up manner. They don’t get medical documentaries/ news items right either. Get over it.

  122. pkreter
    Posted Jul 23, 2008 at 8:54 AM | Permalink

    re #114 Harold:

    I thought the OfcomSwindleComplaint website was a site installed by Ofcom, it has a lot of information but it seems to be an AGW site. The Website credits and Contact us pages are still empty. Anyone here who has more info?

    Whois shows the domain owner to be “Dave Rado”.

  123. Vinny Burgoo
    Posted Jul 23, 2008 at 8:54 AM | Permalink

    Re AndyW’s

    Living in the UK and having watched that program all I can say is that is it a disgrace to the likes of other UK science programs that put both sides of the argument across and lets the viewer come to an opinion, such as Equinox and Horizon.

    Martin Durkin made two films for Equinox (which was always a bit quirkier than Horizon), one about breast implants and one about GM crops. See page 124 of the Rado complaint. St George of Monbiot says the films were part of Durkin’s “personal crusade against science” and marked him as a “charlatan” and faux-Troskyite “entryist” , but he would, wouldn’t he?

  124. py
    Posted Jul 23, 2008 at 9:29 AM | Permalink

    Dave Rado does seem to be an interesting character doesn’t he? I read somewhere that he carries no membership of any environmental groups, but as a concerned citizen was so outraged by Durkin’s effort that he spent a lot of time generating a monster of an Ofcom complaint.

  125. Patrick Hadley
    Posted Jul 23, 2008 at 9:29 AM | Permalink

    Rob Guenier #107. Thank you for the link to the BBC site. The article is totally one-sided, even without the “hockey stick”. I have just posted an offical complaint about it.

    Tonight on BBC2 at 9pm is the first episode of “Burn Up” which from the trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zY__KBYJjMM and advanced publicity is going to be a drama in which the evil oil companies conpire to lie and even kill in order to deny the truth about global warming. Quotes from the trailer:
    “We have between five and ten years before the warming becomes unstoppable.”
    “Everything the West stands for dies.”
    “This is the end of civilisation.”

    From the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines:

    Impartiality is and should remain the hallmark of the BBC as the leading provider of information and entertainment in the United Kingdom, and as a pre-eminent broadcaster internationally. It is a legal requirement, but it should also be a source of pride.

    Impartiality must continue to be applied to matters of party political or industrial controversy. But in today’s more diverse political, social and cultural landscape, it requires a wider and deeper application.

    Impartiality applies across all BBC platforms and all types of programme. No genre is exempt.

    Impartiality is most obviously at risk in areas of sharp public controversy. But there is a less visible risk, demanding particular vigilance, when programmes purport to reflect a consensus for ‘the common good’, or become involved with campaigns.

    What a joke.

    I am ready to write a formal complaint to the BBC Trust if “Burn Up” is as bad as described.

  126. joy
    Posted Jul 23, 2008 at 9:44 AM | Permalink

    Harold:
    Ed Richards is the CEO of OFCOM. Send your complaints to him. I felt the same way as yourself. Amidst all the waffle I felt OFCOM could have made the summary or outcome stand out for all to see. Hence the BBC were able to spin the story. Hedlines count. The IPCC know this hence the “summary for policy makers.” Could we have a “summary for serious skeptics” and one for “not very serious skeptics” and another for “scientists”?

  127. Ade
    Posted Jul 23, 2008 at 9:47 AM | Permalink

    Well, I had a read of the http://www.ofcomswindlecomplaint.net “Responses to the Ruling from Some of the Contributors to the Complaint” page (here)

    Fantastic. The only way I can reconcile their words with the actual ofcom ruling, is to assume that they’ve modelled the ofcom ruling, using robust and skilled IPR-protected algorithms…

    I think that page, perhaps more than any other, sums up my problem with the whole IPCC.

  128. joy
    Posted Jul 23, 2008 at 9:57 AM | Permalink

    patrick:

    I’m not sure I could bear to watch it. I saw the trailer and thought it was a joke. I believe that the BBC are trying to push their agenda under the guise of fiction. This would be fine if they weren’t using licence fees for this purpose. Will they be offering refunds?

  129. joy
    Posted Jul 23, 2008 at 2:18 PM | Permalink

    dodgy Geezer:
    I found it by googling “BBC complaints” I complained some time back about the website and it’s bias on the subject of climate change. coincidentally the “changing headlines ” scandle was ongoing at the time. The reply I received referred to Roger Harrobin and Jo Abbess . Is that a guilty concience, or a disinterest in viewers complaints in general that lead to a generic email reply to my complaint? I never received a satisfctory answer to that.

  130. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jul 23, 2008 at 4:29 PM | Permalink

    I’ve posted above on how Michael Tobis, in a blog post aptly titled How the Public is Deliberately Misled posted a diametrically untrue characterization of this post.

    As repeatedly stated, in my post, I said that Ofcom had not “vindicated” Swindle as follows:

    That’s not to say that Ofcom said that Durkin’s point of view had been vindicated, merely that the complainants were seeking comfort in the wrong bed.

    Tobis falsely stated that I claimed that Ofcom had “vindicated” Swindle as follows:

    McIntyre is portraying this as complete vindication of the propagandists.

    I directly objected to this characterization in comments on this thread, which were acknowledged by Tobis. Tobis could easily have corrected his erroneous statement, not by adding prevaricating half-truths later in the post, but by actually correcting the erroneous sentence, perhaps saying something true for a change like:

    McIntyre is not portraying this as a complete vindication.

    Tobis failed to correct his false statement despite ample opportunity. The initial error may have been inadvertent, but the failure to correct the error is deliberate. Tobis’ false statement, which he had ample opportunity to correct, has now been picked up and quoted by Tim Lambert.

    I guess Tobis is trying to give an object lesson in the title of his post: How the Public is Deliberately Misled. Shame on you, Michael.

  131. bender
    Posted Jul 23, 2008 at 5:00 PM | Permalink

    McIntyre is portraying this as complete vindication of the propagandists

    Tobis simply doesn’t read. A “stuffing” of the professors does not constitute vindication of the opposing swindle theorists. Tobis’s world – like that of Tamino – appears to be one of black and white.

    The fact is Ofcom chose not to rule on the bulk of what they were asked to investigate, because it was based on a misconception about what fairness and accuracy in broadcasting means.

    As I said before – the first to say so – had Ch4 complied with all the rules Ofcom said it broke, the presentation of GGWS would not have changed materially. And that is what you call a “stuffing”.

    Of course GGWS was not balanced. It was a polemic. Now that AIT has its rebuttal, can we expect something more “balanced” from ch4? If they’re in the business of profit-making, probably. If they’re in the business of propagandizing (Monbiot’s own “bizarre conspiracy theory”), then probably not.

    Note the double-standard on what constitutes a “bizarre conspiracy”: Santer’s take on GGWS vs. Monbiot on ch4.

  132. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jul 23, 2008 at 5:23 PM | Permalink

    Ofcom said it wasn’t misleading but that it wasn’t impartial enough. End of story.

    PDF:

    Ofcom therefore wrote to Channel 4 and asked for its comments on how the
    programme complied with the Code. In particular it referred to the following rules:
    · Rule 2.2, which states that “Factual programmes or items or portrayals of
    factual matters must not materially mislead the audience”;
    · Rules 5.11 (due impartiality must be preserved on matters of major political
    controversy and major matters relating to current public policy), and
    · Rule 5.12 (in dealing with such major matters, an appropriately wide range of
    significant views must be included and given due weight in each programme
    or in clearly linked and timely programmes.)

    Not in breach of Rule 2.2
    Breach of Rules 5.11 and 5.12 (in respect of Part Five of the programme)

    In Breach
    The Great Global Warming Swindle
    Channel 4, 8 March 2007, 21:00

    Fairness & Privacy cases

    Upheld
    Complaint by Sir David King 36
    The Great Global Warming Swindle, Channel 4, 8 March 2007

    Partly Upheld
    Complaint by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 43
    The Great Global Warming Swindle, Channel 4, 8 March 2007
    Complaint by Professor Carl Wunsch 70
    The Great Global Warming Swindle, Channel 4, 8 March 2007

  133. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Jul 23, 2008 at 5:31 PM | Permalink

    Rule 5.12 requires that where a major matter of current public policy of international importance like this is being considered in a programme “an appropriately wide range of significant views must be included and given due weight in each programme or in clearly linked and timely programmes.” In this part of the programme, and on this specific issue, no such wide range of views was included. Ofcom also found that the programmes referred to by Channel 4 in the cluster of programmes editorially linked to The Great Global Warming Swindle were not sufficiently timely or linked to satisfy the requirements of Rule 5.12. Nor could the requirements of due impartiality be satisfied by the general and wide ranging media output about anthropogenic global warming over recent years (including print media output) that was referred to by Channel 4 in its response.

    I agree TGGWS is not balanced, and that the rules for a TV program in Great Britain seem to say that this is the case indeed this is the case. As judged above. But on a wider scale, the fact that AIT as a USA movie purported to be a documentary versus a TV show portrayed as a polemic, well, apples and oranges? (Not that I totally agree all the other stuff doesn’t balance this show, the show does not balance itself is fairly obvious, which seems the ruling. Although I think they gave enough warning what they were doing to make that immaterial.)

    But hey.

  134. bender
    Posted Jul 23, 2008 at 5:38 PM | Permalink

    Nathan Rive:

    “Global warming is a topic worthy of public debate, but C4 and TGGWS have done a public disservice by presenting misinformation and unfairly representing members of the climate change community. Climate change involves enough interesting topics and uncertainties to set up an engaging discussion – without the need to resort to distortion, misinformation, conspiracy theories, and mud-slinging.”

    Bold mine.

    Dr. Rive, where can I see a formal exposition of these “uncertainties”, and how they influence the calculation of the CO2 sensitivity coefficient, past and future? Can you and your IPCC colleagues please prepare a documentary on this topic for C4? Thank you.

  135. bender
    Posted Jul 23, 2008 at 5:41 PM | Permalink

    uncertainty denial – it’s a powerful cult

  136. bender
    Posted Jul 23, 2008 at 6:45 PM | Permalink

    A complete stuffing of the 37 professors

    Being stuffed hurts. Ask a sentient being like Dave Rado, not an emotionless institutional entity like IPCC.

  137. Posted Jul 23, 2008 at 11:41 PM | Permalink

    Steve,

    I did not see that the text to which you referred was in the original article.

    In your #92 you said “I repeated the statement that he had not been “vindicated” twice in the comments here here, including once in reponse to Michael Tobis.” I misread this and believed there was no such text in the original article, but only in two comments.

    This was erroneous. Therefore, your request for a retraction is justified and the retraction you asked for is now posted.

  138. Posted Jul 24, 2008 at 12:02 AM | Permalink

    # 93

    Raven… I’m a biologist, heh! ;)

  139. Posted Jul 24, 2008 at 12:09 AM | Permalink

    # 98

    Steve McIntyre,

    Tobis wrote:
    I concede that McIntyre has adopted a conciliatory tone in his response to me and explicitly disavowed vindication in that reply, as well as perhaps elsewhere.

    I know you will disprove what I will write, but Michael Tobis’ arguments seems to obey to some kind of AGWist psychosis… Heh! :)

  140. bender
    Posted Jul 24, 2008 at 2:07 AM | Permalink

    #138

    your request for a retraction is justified and the retraction you asked for is now posted

    Your inexpert analysis and response is going to lead you to scorn and ridicule. You are now a node in a web of disinformation on what Ofcom said, and what McIntyre said. Ironic for someone so concerned about fairness and accuracy in reporting. Shall McIntyre write your blog for you?

  141. bender
    Posted Jul 24, 2008 at 2:18 AM | Permalink

    #134

    I think they gave enough warning

    This principle of “fair warning” is ludicrous. Anything can be taken out of context and inserted anywhere – especially in the modern blogosphere. To think you should have ultimate control over how your words will be contextualized is not just arrogant, it’s antiquated.

    Had Ofcom stated taken that modern, realistic stance, the ruling would have been even less of a vindication for the complainants.

  142. dover_beach
    Posted Jul 24, 2008 at 2:32 AM | Permalink

    Re #141. Yes, indeed, Bender. A quite remarkable volte face.

  143. DaveR
    Posted Jul 24, 2008 at 3:16 AM | Permalink

    #141 – bender, stop being childish.

  144. py
    Posted Jul 24, 2008 at 3:48 AM | Permalink

    Of course what I find quite amazing is that after so successfully managing to polarize both political and media opinion, Ward, Rado and the IPCC even bothered to complain. Why didn’t they just leave it alone, and put it all down to the ramblings of another ‘flat earther’? Why did they feel so compelled to register their complaints? It’s all a bit of an own goal isn’t it? Don’t they realize that if Ofcom had ruled on factual content, then every TV documentary in the UK related to climate change would potentially be up for complaint from both sides, thus stimulating the very debate that they wish to quash.

    I think Ofcom did them a favour (and probably thought of all the worms if the can was opened).

  145. trevor
    Posted Jul 24, 2008 at 4:25 AM | Permalink

    An interesting take on the issue:

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/850566/an-inconvenient-ruling.thtml

  146. bender
    Posted Jul 24, 2008 at 7:38 AM | Permalink

    #144 um, ok. how?

  147. Posted Jul 24, 2008 at 8:03 AM | Permalink

    re 141: I don’t have the time to put into this that Steve does.

    Blogging is not my job, and I have to be careful lest in interfere with my job. I do what I can within my limits.

    I made a mistake and misunderstood the basis for the complaint, which makes two mistakes. Once I understood the mistakes I corrected them. I wish others would do the same. I don’t consider the mistake especially consequential, but I can see that Steve did, so I apologize for it.

    Scorn and ridicule away about my own personal fallibility if you think that is the road to an improvement in our sorry situation.

    It appears one is damned either way and therefore it’s best to stick to one’s knitting and leave the politics to the ignorant. Unfortunately for me I have moral qualms about doing that. Most scientists have more to lose and are much more reluctant to enter a sphere of discourse where one is pretty much guaranteed to be attacked.

    For people demanding openness you certainly are quick to punish any openness you happen to come across.

  148. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jul 24, 2008 at 8:35 AM | Permalink

    Michael, thank you for your correction and I’m happy to get back being civil to one another. While you’re cleaning up your file, would you please send a notice to Lambert that you incorrectly characterized my post, as he relied on your original wording. I was irritated more by the failure to correct the error than by the error. Errors happen.

    I also agree with your point regarding scorn about personal fallibility and would encourage you to carry this thought forward in your own commentaries and when you are commenting in more strident places. When I’m writing according to my best standards, I am critical of the article, and not the person. Unfortunately, I lapse into snark from time to time. Given the material, it’s hard not to. But vigilance is always called for and I’m sending the same memo to myself.

  149. Gunnar
    Posted Jul 24, 2008 at 8:42 AM | Permalink

    #147, um, hem, by growing up?

  150. Raven
    Posted Jul 24, 2008 at 9:01 AM | Permalink

    #139 Nasif Nahle says:

    Raven… I’m a biologist, heh!

    It was not intended to be a slight against biologists but as an example to point out that scientists specialize and that it is difficult for any scientist to dispute the work of another working in an area outside their expertise unless they invest a lot of energy into learning about the other field. This means the ‘consensus’ is really decided by the relatively small group of scientists that work in the field in question.

  151. steven mosher
    Posted Jul 24, 2008 at 9:24 AM | Permalink

    re 148.. well done. I read it this morning. actually, it made me want to hang around your site and read other things. plus you like bob wills.

  152. steven mosher
    Posted Jul 24, 2008 at 9:29 AM | Permalink

    re 149. Lambert wouldnt even correct the faulty reference he made to Ross’s work
    when discussing Monckton. as a measure of brightness Lambert doesnt live up to his
    name.

  153. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jul 24, 2008 at 9:43 AM | Permalink

    #145. I think that your analysis here is very apt.

    The situation is redolent with irony in that Rado et al were probably arguing against their best interests. And conversely – a Swindle loss on section 5 would have been a huge win for “skeptics”. This is an aspect of the irony that I need to bring out more clearly.

    For a “skeptic”, had Swindle lost on section 5 – for Ofcom to declare that the science was a “matter of political and industrial controversy”, this would then have required all subsequent documentaries to be “balanced” – which Rado et al would have hated. For them, the cure would probably have been worse than the disease. Ofcom undoubtedly considered that and were more farsighted than the controversialists give them credit for.

    English lawyers are often pretty smart guys. I’ve read quite a bit of case law over the years and have a bit of a feel for how the reasoning goes. More so than other blog commentators on this. In my posts, I was trying to convey some appreciation of what was often pretty subtle reasoning and some pretty careful craftsmanship on Ofcom’s part. They worked at this decision; they didn’t just mail it in.

  154. steven mosher
    Posted Jul 24, 2008 at 10:20 AM | Permalink

    re 154. agreed PY has it about right. A win on the case would clearly add nothing
    to the “case” for AGW, a defeat would be horrible, and a split decision would just keep
    the thing alive,as it has.

    Pick your battles wisely. unless you like to fight for the hell of it. hehe

  155. Rob Guenier
    Posted Jul 26, 2008 at 7:08 AM | Permalink

    Patrick Hadley (#126) – did you see the BBC drama “Burn Up”? I was away so missed it. But I gather that, not only did it preach a wholly one-sided case, but the oil industry executives (especially the Americans) were thoroughly unpleasant people who didn’t give a damn about the damage they were (evidently) doing to the environment – the “melting ice caps”, for example, were just another opportunity for profit. In contrast, the eco campaigners – who spent a lot of time lecturing everyone about the unquestioned scientific evidence behind the global catastrophe that would result from continued CO2 emissions – were uniformly saintly, trendy, beautiful and sexy. My only consolation is that two TV critics said they were persuaded to do their bit to save the planet – by turning off their TVs.

    As to a complaint, my initial thought was that, as this was a fictional drama, we would be told that questions of balance didn’t arise. However, it would appear to have been in clear breach of the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines that you helpfully quoted. Nonetheless, it may be that all it did was confirm the majority’s sceptical reaction to constant “climate change” propaganda. What’s your view?

  156. joy
    Posted Jul 29, 2008 at 7:56 AM | Permalink

    Regarding BBC’s clearly biased headlines, the following is Ofcom’s comment regarding my complaint of the BBC’s latest bias:

    “Thank you for your email to Ed Richards dated 22 July 2008. Your email has been passed on to me to reply to as it is my department that deals with complaints about programme content.

    While we note your comments on our finding, I would like to take this opportunity to clarify that Ofcom made it clear in its finding that in dealing with the complaints about the programme it had to ascertain not whether the programme was accurate or not, but whether it materially misled the audience with the result that harm and/or offence was likely to be caused.

    It is not within Ofcom’s remit or ability as the regulator of the ‘communications industry’ to establish or to seek to adjudicate on ‘facts’ such as whether global warming is a man-made phenomenon or not. Nor is it within Ofcom’s ability to be able to reach conclusions about the validity of particular scientific theories. Ofcom’s role, as regards to factual accuracy, is to decide whether the programme breached the requirements of its Broadcasting Code (in particular Rule 2.2) and to do this, it must reach an opinion on the portrayals of factual matters in a programme in order to determine whether the audience was materially mislead by them overall.

    I also note that you have raised concerns about the BBC’s reporting of our finding. However, these are not matters within Ofcom’s remit.

    Ofcom regulates BBC services in relation to material that may be thought to give rise to harm or offence, as well as in relation to complaints of unfairness and/or unwarranted infringement of privacy from individuals who have taken part or been included in programmes. However, under the terms of the Communications Act 2003, Ofcom does not regulate BBC services in relation to accuracy or impartiality. Such matters are regulated by the BBC Trust, therefore your concerns should be addressed directly to the BBC itself. If you wish to make a complaint to the BBC, the single point of contact for viewers and listeners is:

    BBC, PO Box 1922, Glasgow, G2 3WT

    (Tel: 08700 100 222)

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints.

    Thank you once again for contacting Ofcom. Your comments are important to us.

    Yours sincerely

    David Best

    Case Leader
    Standards Team
    Content and Standards

    Tel: 020 7981 3899
    Fax: 020 7981 3806

    Email: david.best@ofcom.org.uk

    :: Ofcom

    Riverside House
    2a Southwark Bridge Road
    London SE1 9HA
    020 7981 3000

    http://www.ofcom.org.uk

  157. joy
    Posted Jul 29, 2008 at 8:12 AM | Permalink

    Seems the BBc has opted out of independan regulation in matters of truth and impartiality. No wonder their record has deteriorated so strangely of late. 2003 was the last time we could expect impartiality and non bias in it’s broadcasting. They’ve now deferred to Glasgow…also very telling… No wonder we hear so much about Scottland these days.

  158. bender
    Posted Jul 29, 2008 at 7:07 PM | Permalink

    [Ofcom] had to ascertain not whether the programme was accurate or not, but whether it materially misled the audience with the result that harm and/or offence was likely to be caused.

    So one does not have the right to take offence at media inaccuracy? Curious way of wording the ruling.

    Most scientists are deeply offended when inaccuracies masquerade as truth.

    Probably not that many knowing scientists in the audience with a right to feel offended. Still.

    Interesting that a claim is deemed justified when there is material harm OR offence taken. The scientists did not need to prove accuracy, only demonstrate that the “polemic” offended them. In this light, Ofcom’s ruling is strange. Jurisdiction over accuracy is not required to rule whether or not viewers were offended.

    I wonder if any viewers felt so sick they had to visit a doctor, and got a note. Remember: accuracy isn’t the issue. Offence is.

    Same rules will apply for any airing of AIT.

    Steve:
    What people are missing is that Ofcom’s ruling was constructed so in a way that AIT wouldn’t have any problems. Had Rado et al won their section 5 complaint, then AIT could not have been shown without offering rebuttal time. The entire case was absolutely madness.

  159. harold
    Posted Jul 30, 2008 at 1:32 AM | Permalink

    I agree that the entire case was absolute madness, but claiming it “was constructed so that AIT would not have any problems” is going to far. IMO all censorship courts are absolute madness, and OfCom in the SportxxxGirls, 10 February 2008, 22:00 decision, as a break of Rule 2.2, is a case in point.

    Steve: Maybe. But understand that I didn’t mean this observation in a venal way, but in a practical way. OFcom clearly did not want to be refereeing one dispute among climate scientists after another. They’ve shown considerable intelligence in their handling of this matter and would obviously know that AIT was in the pipeline and that, if they didn’t draw a line in the sand, then they have another big, complicated case with AIT, re-arguing the matters. So their decision was, in my opinion, crafted to forestall their having to re-litigate AIT. This is what I had in mind, not that they were some sort of venal apologists for Al Gore.

  160. Posted Jul 30, 2008 at 8:03 AM | Permalink

    The BBC might be doing some damage control itself:

    http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jRiYg47dEeOHGq5gtc4xNmaYHcZQ

    “BBC fined after new phone-in scandals

    LONDON (AFP) — The BBC was fined 400,000 pounds Wednesday after a string of top television and radio shows faked winners of their competitions.

    The fine, imposed by media regulator Ofcom, is the latest in a string of similar scandals involving British broadcasters, which has tarnished their reputation for transparency, particularly over competitions.

    In the latest round of revelations, Ofcom said that the producers of some shows had decided to broadcast competitions which viewers invited to take part had no chance of winning.

    Flagship charity telethon Comic Relief was one of the offenders. Ofcom said viewers were told that if they called in to pledge money, they would automatically be entered for a prize draw to win flights to the United States.”

    Faking a charity show? What right does any organization that does such a thing have to criticize another network in the way it has done here?

  161. joy
    Posted Jul 30, 2008 at 10:52 AM | Permalink

    Evidently the BBC does what it likes with impunity in matters of truth and impartiality.
    Whether OFCOM have deliberately prepared the ground for this is immaterial. Just as GGWS knew the complaint would come and were prepared. They crafted the programme with the complaint in mind. That will be the main stumbling block for AIT as it was never intended to be scrutinised to such a degree. No doubt it will have to be shown after then ….not fit to be shown in schools without caveats I would think the same will apply to broadcasting when children might be expected to watch.

  162. joy
    Posted Jul 30, 2008 at 10:58 AM | Permalink

    Correction: It will have to be shown after the watershed.

  163. Posted Sep 3, 2008 at 11:49 AM | Permalink

    This is a pretty good article. It is very hard to look good these days,if you don’t look one way you cannot be accepted, well you can just not like everyone else. Thanx for the article it was very nice!!!!

3 Trackbacks

  1. […] http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3328 […]

  2. […] in against this decision). The decision was heralded as a huge blow for climate campaigners on blogsand some mainstream media sites. (Added: came across this interesting piece on the […]

  3. […] Writing at the time, Steve McIntyre characterized the Ofcom decision rather differently. He called it a “humiliating defeat” for the complainants: […]

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,421 other followers

%d bloggers like this: